CLINTON, Miss. (WLBT) - A house fire in Clinton has claimed the lives of a mother and her six children.
It happened around 12:30 Saturday morning on Old Vicksburg Road and Hobby Farm Road, according to Clinton Fire Chief Jeff Blackledge.
All units in the city responded to the scene. Blackledge says the victims range in age from 1 to 33 years old.
Clinton city officials have identified the deceased as Brittany Presley, 33; Landen Brookshire, 15; Lane Presley, 13; Lawson Presley, 12; Grayson Presley, 6; Malcolm Presely,4; and Felicity Presley, 1.
The father of the family was taken to the hospital with smoke inhalation and burns as well as cuts and bruises. He is in critical but stable condition.
“He was worried and concerned,” noted Mark Jones, Director of Communications with the City of Clinton.“He did not want to leave the scene... He was very concerned about his family.”
The State Fire Marshal has now been called in to lead the investigation. Jones said that, at this time, they do not know the cause of the fire.
He did say, however, that the age of the home may be a factor, with the house being built in 1951.
“We ask for your prayers for this family, this father, as well as the firemen with Clinton Fire Department who had to see this as well,” said Jones.
Jones added that while the cause of the fire is unclear, foul play is not suspected.
The Clinton Public School District released a statement on the death of four of their students. It reads:
“The Clinton Public School District grieves the tragic death of four students this weekend in a fire at their home. Clinton is a close-knit community and this loss is devastating for our entire school family. As students and employees return on Monday, counseling services will be available at each campus for anyone who needs support. We will also work with community partners to share information on events and activities to support the family. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family during this time of loss.”
Brittany Presley was a second-grade teacher at Reuben B. Myers Canton School of Arts and Sciences. The Canton Public School District also released a statement in the wake of her death.
"The Canton Public School District is saddened by the tragic loss of one of its teachers and her six children in a house fire in Clinton, MS. Mrs. Brittany Presley, a second-grade teacher at Reuben B. Myers Canton School of Arts and Sciences, and her son, a pre-k student at the school, will be sorely missed in our district. Principal Alphia Myers says Mrs. Presley was a team leader who was a good, nurturing, and loving teacher who gave her all for her students.
Her compassionate heart and giving spirit will forever live on in the hearts of the countless lives she touched.
Superintendent Gary Hannah, the faculty, staff, and the entire student body, offer their heartfelt sympathies to her husband, family, and those who loved her for their loss. Our prayers are with you during this difficult time. Monday, counselors will be at the school to help our students and staff deal with their grief. We are asking everyone to keep this family in your thoughts and prayers."
If you would like to donate a GoFundMe page has been created for the family’s medical and funeral expenses.