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Published: Wednesday, 1/21/2009

2 children die in E. Toledo house fire


Two young children died in a house fire in East Toledo Wednesday morning and a third child, who jumped out of a second-story window to escape the blaze, was badly burned, authorities said.

Destiny Wainwright, 10, and Meryoje Peakcock, 7, were found dead inside the house, authorities said.

Destiny was a fifth grader at Garfield Elementary and Meryoje was a kindergartner there.

A grief counselor is available at the school.

Unique Elliott, 15, the child who jumped from the house, was listed in serious condition in St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center Wednesday morning. Ida Hartfield, whose age was unavailable, was in fair condition at the hospital.

The relationship between the two is unclear.

Fire crews arrived at 516 White St., near Greenwood Ave., about 6:30 a.m. and found heavy fire in the first and second floors of the two story house.

Assistant Chief Luis Santiago said someone inside the house awoke to the smoke alarm, but initially wasn t concerned because it often sounded when people were cooking.

The assistant chief said one occupant of the house attempted to unsuccessfully extinguish the blaze and then called 911.

There were three adults and three children in the home at the time of the fire.

Wendy Faith, who lives across the street, said she heard screaming, woke up, and looked out to see the fire.

A man from the house came running over to her house yelling There s three babies inside.

Ms. Faith said she attempted to enter the house to rescue the children, but was forced back by the flames and smoke.

They were a good family. They don t deserve what happened to them, Ms. Faith said.

Firefighters remained on the scene late Wednesday morning, dousing the fire with aerial water trucks and from the ground.

Assistant Chief Santiago said the cause of the fire remains under investigation.

A firefighter was injured when he fell down the stairs while fighting the fire and was taken to St. Vincent.

Contact Laren Weber at lweber@theblade.com or 419-724-6064.

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