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Two children dead in Gulfport apartment fire; 6 others hospitalized

Harrison County Coroner Brian Switzer identified the children as 6-year-old Vashun Viverette and newborn Kakashi Aubrey.

GULFPORT, Miss — Two young children are dead and six others were hospitalized after a fire at a Gulfport apartment complex early Wednesday morning.

Gulfport Fire Chief Billy Kelley told WLOX that the fire occurred at the William Bell Apartments on 65th Avenue. The children, one six years old and the other just four days old, both died from smoke inhalation. Two other children and four adults were hospitalized, some listed in critical condition.

Harrison County Coroner Brian Switzer identified the children as 6-year-old Vashun Viverette and newborn Kakashi Aubrey.

“It was tough on our guys,” Kelley told the television station. “These guys come to work every day, and they have children the same age. The look on their faces was tough.” 

The fire department does not suspect that the fire was weather-related and believed to have started in the kitchen. Kelley said the apartment had smoke detectors but none of his firefighters heard them sounding.

“Smoke detectors save lives,” Kelley said. “Please don’t go without a smoke detector. We have them at our station, and we will come put them in for you, free of charge.

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