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Ga. mom, 23, dies saving 3 children in mobile home fire

Madison Hope Summerville died from injuries she received while saving her children, ages 5, 4 and 3, from their burning home in Griffin

By Makiya Seminera
The Charlotte Observer

GRIFFIN, Ga. — A deadly house fire claimed the life of a young mother and sent her three children to the hospital, a Georgia family said.

Firefighters responded to a roaring fire that engulfed a mobile home in Griffin Thursday, Feb. 15, seriously injuring a mother and her three children, Fox 5 Atlanta reported. The mom, identified as Madison Hope Summerville, later died from the injuries that she got while trying to save her kids from the fire, her sister said on Facebook.

Someone nearby spotted the mobile home going up in flames and called the fire department, 11 Alive reported. Meanwhile, neighbors joined in with responders to help pull the family away from the fire, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Summerville was sent to Wellstar Spalding Medical Center in Griffin, Fox 5 reported.

She later died from the “terrible fire accident,” her sister Chasidy Summerville wrote on Facebook. Chasidy Summervlle stayed with her sister — who she called a “super mom” — all night, holding her in her hospital bed at times until she died, she said.

“She was truly an amazing woman and mother who will be deeply missed,” she wrote on Facebook.

The three children were transported to Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, WSB-TV reported. The children — two boys and a girl — are ages 5, 4 and 3, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s report.

Two of the children were in stable condition as of Feb. 16, while the other was in critical condition, Chasidy Summerville said in her post.

The two boys have been discharged from the hospital as of Feb. 19, but the girl remains hospitalized, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

The deadly fire came three days after Madison Summerville celebrated her 23rd birthday, according to the family’s GoFundMe. Up until that point, she had “lived a beautiful life,” her family wrote.

When she wasn’t spending time with her beloved children, the 23-year-old loved to go fishing, the GoFundMe said.

“Madison was an all-around bubbly person who would make you laugh instantly,” the GoFundMe said.

Now, the mother’s sister told Alive 11 that she feels “lost without her.”

Madison Summerville’s sister-in-law, Amber Morris, told Alive 11 that she worries about her brother having to tell his and Summerville’s children that “their mommy is not coming home.” He will now have to care for his five children — including the three in the fire — alone, Morris said to the outlet.

“She’s a hero, and that’s what she’ll forever be,” Morris told Alive 11.

The fire is under investigation by the Georgia State Fire Marshal’s Office, Fox 5 reported.

Griffin is about 40 miles southeast of Atlanta.

How to prepare for a possible house fire

Residential fires killed more than 2,800 people and injured thousands more in 2021, according to the U.S. Fire Administration.

People could have less than two minutes to escape a house fire after a smoke alarm sounds.

“The increasing severity of home fires due to modern building contents and open space configurations makes it crucial that people understand the dangers of smoke and are prepared to leave their homes immediately in the event of fire,” officials said.

Here are tips officials say could help you be more prepared for a house fire:

  • Install smoke alarms in every bedroom and in basements.
  • Have a home fire escape plan and practice at-home fire drills.
  • Know when and how to use a fire extinguisher, and educate yourself on its proper maintenance.

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