By Staff and wire reports
A fire swept through a two-story motel in central Alabama, killing four Mississippi college students who were trapped in their room, officials said Sunday.
The four students are identified by WCBI.com as: Jamelia C. Brown, 18, of Grenada, Miss.; Jaslynn McGee, 19, of Corinth, Miss.; Alondan Turner, 18, of Cordova, Ala.; and Catherine Muse, 18, also of Cordova, said Johnny Long, deputy coroner with the Jefferson County Coroner’s Office.
A national ATF team is on the ground investigating today, an official told the NEMS Daily Journal.
The victims were students at Mississippi University for Women in Columbus, Miss., which is about 90 miles west of Hoover, Ala, the site of the Days Inn fire. Officials didn’t immediately know what started the blaze Saturday night, or where it began.
The victims were among those who made 911 calls to report the fire, Hoover Fire Department spokesman Rusty Lowe said. Firefighters knew the women were trapped in their second-floor room, but couldn’t get to them because of the flames.
“Half of the hotel was on fire. The fire was very hot and it was just difficult to reach all the rooms to get to the victims,” Lowe said.
The local fire department has requested help with the probe from state and federal agencies.
“The investigation will reveal a lot more,” Low said, adding that determining the cause “will not be a quick process, due to the amount of precision which will be required.”
Read more about this story in the NEMS Daily Journal newspaper Tuesday.