As loved ones prepare to lay a mother and four little girls to rest, city leaders say they are determined to learn if a deadly fire in Newnan could have been prevented.
At just 1 year old, Mackenzie Florence was the youngest victim of the Newnan house fire that's left an entire community in mourning. Mackenzie, three of her half-sisters and Lola McCrary, the 28-year-old mother of two of those little girls, died Saturday when fire swept through McCrary's rental home on Midland Park Drive.
Despite her anguish, Mackenzie's mother Erika says she will always be grateful that Lola tried to save the little girls.
"She was trying, she was there, because she didn't have to go back in to get them, but she did. She was a hero because she went back in there with them," said Erika Florence.
Like so many of the loved ones touched by this tragedy, Erika wants to know if this blaze could've been prevented. Lola McCrary moved into the house just a couple of months ago and relatives say she had recently complained to her landlord about electrical problems.
Cynthia Jenkins, Newnan's mayor pro tem, says it's too early to speculate or point fingers, but adds city and fire officials are determined to figure out how and why the electrical panel inside sparked that fire cut five lives short.
"Some things are just freak accidents and some things are human error or human responsibility that they didn't live up to," Jenkins said. "Any actions we may take in the future to try to help will be dependent upon the investigation."
Jenkins said that investigation is ongoing.
"That does include pulling permits. That does include looking at the site to see if other things were out of place that should have been taken care of," Jenkins said.
Insurance investigators inspected the remains of the home on Tuesday.
A public memorial service for Mackenzie Florence will be held on Thursday at First United Methodist Church in Newnan. A separate service will be held for the other victims later this week.
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