ATMORE, Ala. (WALA) - Three young children died in a house fire Wednesday night in Atmore. Their grandmother said the children were 4-year-old Aniya Abner, 3-year-old Takia Abner, and 21-month-old Michael Coleman.
Atmore Firefighters were called to the home on First Street around 8 p.m. The home was fully engulfed by flames when firefighters arrived.
Several neighbors said they watched it all unfold.
"They were huge. It was like a towering inferno. I felt the heat coming from the home," said Sandra Thomas who lives two doors down.
Thomas said she walked out after she noticed police and firefighters had swarmed her neighborhood. She said she saw children inside the burning home.
"I just turned my back and started praying. That's all I could do. And then I started to weep," said Thomas.
Relatives believe the children were home alone when the fire started. Some neighbors also told FOX10 News the children were left alone often. Atmore fire officials have not confirmed that.
The children's grandparents said the kids belonged to two different mothers who were 18-year-old twins. They said the they lived at the residence with an aunt who was at work when the fire broke out.
Both grandparents said they don't know what to believe.
"We have lost three wonderful, beautiful kids, and at this point, I don't know exactly what happened," said the grandfather, Anthony Coley.
"I know them as parents. They're probably taking it hard. I would. I'm the grandmother, and I'm taking it hard," said Cindy Hartley.
The state fire marshall is investigating.
Officials said both mothers could be charged in connection with the death of their children.
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