Teen sisters perish in house firePublished 10:20am Thursday, March 6, 2014
AHOSKIE – Two young teen sisters perished in a house fire here early Thursday morning at 419 North Mitchell Street. Meanwhile, the father and brother of the victims were badly burned.
According to information shared by the family, 14-year-old Angel Cherry and her 13-year-old sister, Aaliyah Cherry, were not able to escape from the burning home and were later pronounced dead at Vidant Roanoke-Chowan Hospital.
The father, 54-year-old Earl Drake, and his 8-year-old son, Omarion Drake, managed to escape, but both suffered burns and were airlifted to Norfolk Sentara Hospital. Omarion was later airlifted to a burn center in Cincinnati, Ohio.
The cause of the fire is linked to a kerosene heater in the living room of the home. Following an investigation conducted by the North Carolina SBI, it was determined that the heater was placed too close to combustible materials, according to Ahoskie Fire Chief Ken Dilday.
“There were actually two kerosene heaters in the living room,” Dilday said. “It was not determined if both were in use at the time of the fire.”
Dilday added that it appeared those devices were the main source of heat in the home.
He said the call came in shortly after 3 a.m. at which time Ahoskie Fire Stations 1 and 2 rushed 18 men and five units to the scene, finding the single story dwelling engulfed in flames.
The Winton Fire Department was summoned for mutual aid and sent 12 men and two units.