< We're praying for them and we're here for them. And they know that without us having to tell them. >
Neighbors grieve for the children and mother... Lost when an overnight fire burned their Macon home.
Hello everyone. Thank you for joining us.
I'm Kenny Burgamy.
And I'm Leah Johnson.
Frank Malloy has the night off.
That deadly fire's our top story tonight...as we've learned from fire investigators, the south Macon duplex ..didn't have smoke detectors.
Tom George returned to the home this afternoon... and joins us live from the Lynmore Estates neighborhood.
a mother and three children were lost in the fire that started around two this morning.
I've been here throughout the day...as fire investigators sifted through what's left of the house behind me.
I also found neighbors...who told me the fire happened so fast, there was little anyone could do.
When an early morning fire hit a duplex without smoke alarms.There was little time for neighbors to react.
<it's just one of those things, it was a tragedy, nobody could really help.. And it hurts.>
The fire started in the attic ... the Carmen Place house where 5 kids and 2 parents were at home.
< They all lived on the same street, the grandmother, the family that's gone, they were all close knit.>
But in the end, the fire tore the family apart.
Three members got out....17-year old Brandon and 16-year old Scott Caffee...and James Tucker.
He was the father of the youngest child....stepfather to the rest.
But mom, 36-year Jennifer Caffee and the three girls did not...
There was the youngest Holly, an energetic kindergartner at Bruce Elementary
< She liked doing, she liked going, but when she got tired she like to go home to mama >
There was the oldest daughter Lizzie, very much 15...
< Lizzie wanted to be in everything, everything that was done Lizzie wanted to help.>
And Wendy... Age 10
< Wendy had cerebral palsy ... And was in a wheelchair, but when we had special occasions up here, they always brought Wendy for whatever was going on.>
In fact, they'd just gone to Lake Tobesofkee with their church...which is also on Carmen Place. Now...their friends feel the loss.
< And they know that, without having to tell them, they know we're here for them... >
< And Ima really miss them, my heard goes out to everybody..>
..And in some cases... Total strangers
< It just touched my heart and it was just something God led me to do.>
Walking in the summer heat, Marilyn Hall was on a mission ... She didn't know the girls, but that doesn't matter.
< You know it just let me to go there... Put some teddy bears and some flowers out for them let some somebody know that they really care.>
Both the dad and the older son, Brandon are in good condition recovering at the Burn Center in Augusta.
The other son Scott is also recovering at the Children's Hospital in Macon. Still no word on what caused the fire.
Friends of the family will hold a vigil tomorrow night for the four victims....
at Countryside Baptist Church.
That's on Carmen Place... off Mead Road in south Macon's Lynmore Estates neighborhood.
That vigil starts Friday night at 8.
When a working smoke detector is present, your chance of dying in the fire is cut in half.
That's according to the federal emergency management.
The primary job of a smoke detector is to protect you from fire when you're alseep.
So the best place to install your detectors is between sleeping areas and the rest of the house.
In multi-story homes, detectors are required on each level.
But there are also a few places you should *not* place a smoke detector.
Kitchens and garages are not ideal because cooking fumes and car exhaust are likely to set them off.
Also, attics and crawl spaces, because they are often too hot or cold for electronics to work properly.
Fires that start in those areas are usually caught by other smoke detectors in enough time to get out safely.
And remember, smoke detectors are battery-operated.
Check or change your batteries at least once a year.
It's estimated that as much as one third of the smoke detectors in place are not working properly.
There are 2 types: ionization and photoelectric - these cost between $6 and $20.
Your best bet is a dual-sensor detector...which combines both types. They run between $24 and $40.
If that's not in your budget, don't worry.
Most Central Georgia fire departments offer free smoke detectors and will even install them for you.
Check with your fire department.
And at 13WMAZ-dot-com today... We asked... how many working smoke detectors do you have in your home?
Most of you...40 percent...say two.
33 percent say three or more.
20 percent say you have one.
Just seven percent say you don't have a smoke detector... and as Kenny just mentioned... Your local fire department may be able to help with that to keep you and your family safe.
The Bleckley County sheriff is asking you to be on the look out for a murder suspect.
He's 18-year-old Magic Fuller.
The sheriff's office says he's a suspect in the death of a man from the Atlanta area found dead Monday in Dodge County.
The sheriff says he's 6-foot-1....150 pounds.
He's got removable gold teeth... and tattoos.
he also goes by the name Deonte Fuller.
The sheriff says Fuller is armed and dangerous.
So far... The sheriff has not released the name of the victim.
He says they're waiting for the GBI crime lab to confirm his identity.
Anyone with information on the case can call the G-B-I at 478-374-6988. That number again... 374-6988.
In a typical emergency... Officers and medical staff work the scene... While media keeps a safe distance away.
But today... More than a dozen agencies put their skills to the test during a bomb drill... And they let reporters in on the action...including Katelyn Heck.
Though some of these images look real... We want to remind you... What we're about to show you.... Was not an actual emergency...and the injuries you see...are all part of the drill.
15-year-old Keniqua Smith's injuries may be fake...
But the situation... Felt very real.
<these exercises are very important. They're a requirement for a lot of agencies, but it gives the opportunity for municipalities, organizations, and agencies to collaborate, work together, and work on a seamless response to a mass casualty incident.>
After setting off a fake bomb in the Middle Georgia Regional Airport terminal... Evaluators watched every move of the officers... firefighters... And medical staff during the annual drill.
<you're going to have gaps. You're going to have issues, and that's the whole point of this. You want to identify your capabilities and limitations.>
Over a hundred volunteer victims tested first responders with injuries from...
<chest wound, shortness of breath>
<i had glass cut open my leg and three other wounds in my leg.>
... To amputations... And even deaths.
<i think this is important after the Boston Marathon, so hospitals can be prepared if something like that happens in Macon>
But this drill doesn't just prepare agencies for terroristic acts.
<we have a lot of industry here, we have an interstate system, railway system, explosions can happen, they have happened.>
To complete the drill... Crews rushed victims to four hospitals.
Smith says...despite a fake chest wound... She's ok.
And other volunteers say... If an emergency ever happens... Macon will be too.
<i will feel safer, because I know they will come and help.>
Katelyn Heck 13WMAZ Eyewitness News
Evaluators will critique today's drill... and make reports to the agencies over the next week.
Today... All communication flowed through a central command staff.
That's the system they're required to use after 9/11... To allow smooth collaboration among local... State... And federal agencies.
A basketball camp turned into a brain-storming session.
Macon basketball legend Sharone Wright is in town running a camp at Southwest High School this week.
Suzanne Lawler shows you why some city leaders wanted face time with the former NBA player.
Kenny and Leah.... earlier this week Macon Mayor Robert Reichert... proclaimed a Sharone Wright day.
Well... Today County Commissioner Sam Hart met with Wright about ways to help kids down the road.
<I was not the smartest kid but I always had the direction to do my schoolwork.>
Wright.. who played professionally with the 76ers and later in Europe.. has had this summer camp for sixteen years.
The motto is if you don't get your work done... you can't play.
Commissioner Hart approached Wright about expanding the camp to different parts of the city.
And... there is a longer range goal of getting more former players involved with kids.
Hart says guys like Wright have instant credibility . and if they stayed involved throughout the year it might have help Macon's graduation rate.
Wright is eager to get on board.
<We want to keep the kids here. If they are here, they can't get into trouble. So that's why we want to take it year round, so we could see our programs built up, our rec centers built up, renovating certain things like that and that's the only way we are going to get the alarming numbers down.>
Commissioner Hart says this is just getting started....but they've already met with two other big-name Macon athletes....Jeff Malone and Roger Jackson.
Natalie White..... who is an executive with the Atlanta Dream WNBA team....is from Peach County.... and she is also involved.
Hart says he hopes to pull a group together in the next few months to nail down the next part of the plan.
120 kids attended this camp.
It cost $100 for the week.. But the boys and girls club and churches provided scholarships for some of the campers.
Cancer doesn't strike just one person at a time.
It can affect an entire family...physically...or emotionally.
Annette St. Claire shows you a camp that's helps give kids strength... When a family member is fighting a life-or-death battle.
For many kids.. the countdown to summer camp means fun in the sun
"We are family... I've got all my sisters in me..."
But for the kids at the united in pink summer day camp in North Macon at the Forest Hills United Methodist church...this family themed camp... goes way beyond,,, playtime for best friends Branden Glover And Cayden Pugh
. Its A place where children of breast cancer survivors unite whether its through nutrition seminars, arts and crafts or physical activity...
CAyden: It means a lot to me because my mom had breast cancer
For one week in June , Branden and Cayden ...attend this empowerment program.
Cayden : When I first came I didn't know anybody, (cover video)
my friend Brandon. Were in the same class he's been her every since I came here
Bowden Tempelton It strikes me as hard for words..but its invaluable ...many of them have said over the years they didn't even know what their saying,, but just how meaningful (the camp is)
It's that constant prescence, a Friendship and a bond you might say is Unshakeable and unstoppable for these two best friends
Dr. Bowden Templeteon: breast cancer brings them together but its so much more than that.. it trannends that.. (Cover )Cancer in genral illness affects everyone, it affects the family as a whole in addition the family as inidvidulas
and as Cayden states family and a little faith ..help him get him through the tough times
Cayden: It made me learn about god more
He's a young man with few words With a big message
Cayden : (friends got you)r back
Nat=-sound You got a friend in me....
Annette St. Claire 13wmaz eyewitness news
This summer's camp runs through Friday.
The program operates solely on volunteers and donations...You can help by calling 478-254-5247. That number again...478-254-5247.
And at 13WMAZ today... We'd like to take a moment to remind you that it's the thirteenth of the month.... Friend for Life Day.
You can be a friend for life By picking up the phone... sending a text... even a Facebook message... and remind your friends and loves ones to do a self-breast exam.
It only takes a few minutes.. To possibly save the life of someone you love.
We'll be right back.