Hero emerges in Harrisburg fire

By: Chris Thomas Email
By: Chris Thomas Email

News 12 at 6 o'clock, February 22, 2008

AUGUSTSA, Ga.---An early morning fire completely destroys the home of 3 families. It happened at 539 Wrights Avenue. Teens may be responsible for the blaze.

"It moved so fast that it scared the heck out of me," said Gerald Tallington.

Debra and Gerald Tallington are surveying the damage after fire ravages a neighbor's home. It was Gerald's fast thinking that saved the family's life, says victim Latesha Blair.

"If that neighbor hadn't woke up we would have been gone," said Latesha.

"I had to go. I didn't have chance to do nothing else. I said hurry up and get them people out of there before they got burnt up in there," Gerald said.

Investigators suspect arson. They are not ruling out someone in the neighborhood, possibly even young teens looking for revenge after a fight with 12-year-old Jasmine Blair over the weekend.

"It's possible...domestic type things...yeah, it's possible," said Lt. G.B. Hannan.

Last year Jasmine got in a fight that left her with stab wounds on her arm, back, and head. Now this. "It make me feel sad because we lost everything," said Jasmine.

"It hurts me to see that somebody would actually want to harm human beings. You know...a little baby was in that house, and it didn't have nothing to do with none of that," said neighbor Debra Tallington.

"It's stressful, it's stressful, not only for me, but for the firefighters also. They see this same thing, now these people are out in the cold," said Lt. Hannan. "It's gotta be a better way of doing things because that don't make no sense to go and try to harm someone by setting their house on fire."

Investigators are calling arson the new drive by shooting. 2007 saw some of the highest rates of arson since 2002. There is an up to $10,000 dollar reward for any information leading to a conviction.


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  • by TASHEKIA MOORE Location: MCCORMICK SC on Mar 12, 2008 at 11:33 AM
    IT'S SAD WHAT HAPPENED TO THIS FAMILY! AND WHAT IS MORE SAD IS THAT THIS FAMILY IS RECIEVING NO HELP! NO HELP FROM THE RED CROSS...OH EXCUSE ME I'M WRONG THEY DID GIVE THEM 3 DAYS STAY AT A LOCAL MOTEL! HOORAY FOR RED CROSS! IT'S A SHAME THAT ALL THESE TAXES SRE PAID AND WHEN A FAMILY OF12 CAN'T GET ANY HELP IS SICKING. I CAN'T HELP BUT WONDER IF THIS IS RACE RELATED BECAUSE I'VE WATCHED THE NEWS OF WHITE FAMILIES BRAGGING ON ALL THE HELP THEY RECIEVED BUT NOT FOR THIS FAMILY! M,Y FAMILY! THE PEOPLE IN THIS FIRE ARE MY COUSINS SO I'M SPEAKING ONN WHAT I KNOW AND NOT WHAT I'VE HEARD! THANKS SHEKIA
  • by TAMMY Location: AUDUSTA on Feb 24, 2008 at 09:14 PM
    I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW WHY HASN"T ANY ONE CAME FORWORD TO HELP THESE PEOPLE OUT!THEY HAVE CHILDERNS AND THERE ARE THREE SET OF FAMILY?THEY SEEM LIKE THEY NEED ALL THE HEIP THEY CAN GET !IT SEEM TO ME THAT PEOPLE WOULD BE WILLING TOHELP ALL THEY CAN IN THIS TIME OF NEED.MY SELF HAS DONATED MONEY TO THEM .I WISH EVERY ONE WOULD DO THEY PART FRO THIS LOVING FAMILY.TREAT THIS FAMILY LIKE YOU TREAT THE OTHER ONE WHO WHERE BRUN OUT.ONE OF THE FAMIY HAS 2 SMALE INFANT.MY GOD BLESS THEM ALL!
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