FIRE CHIEF: Kerosene Heater Caused Ahoskie Fire That Killed Two Sisters

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Authorities say a kerosene heater that was too close to clothes sparked a fire that killed two children and critically injured their father and brother.

Ahoskie police say the fire broke out around 3:00 a.m. in the 400 block of North Mitchell Street.

Police say two children, ages 12 and 13 years old, were taken to Vidant Roanoke-Chowan Hospital where they were pronounced dead.

Authorities have not released the names of the two, but family members say they are Aaliyah and Angel Cherry.

Their older brother says, "They wanted to grow up and be successful like me. They wanted to go to college and everything. I can't believe the opportunity got taken away from them."

Their father, 54-year-old Earl Drake, and his eight year old son were airlifted to hospitals in Virginia. The father is in critical condition at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, while the son is being transferred to the Shriners Burn Center in Cincinnati with burns over 50% of his body.

A vigil will be held at 6:00 p.m. tonight at the New Ahoskie Baptist Church on Hayes Street East.

The fire chief said there were no smoke detectors found in the home.


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Officials confirm an overnight fire has killed two people in Hertford County.

WITN has learned the pair died in a house fire that broke out in the 400 block of Mitchell Street.

We know the Ahoskie police chief is currently on scene at the fatal fire as the investigation continues.

Agents from the State Bureau of Investigation are at the fire scene this morning.


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