3 Children Die in Eastern Ark. Fire

MADISON, Ark. (AP) - St. Francis County authorities say three children are dead after an early morning fire at a house fire in the east Arkansas community of Madison. Officials say the mother was able to rescue an infant sibling from the flames early yesterday.

The four-bedroom brick home was fully engulfed when emergency responders arrived. Madison Police Chief Jonathan Parks identified the victims as 13-year-old Kali Williams, 10-year-old Kerria Williams and 4-year-old Michael Williams.

The chief said the mother, Tonette Mills, was having a difficult time absorbing the tragedy. Mills was able to escape with her 9-month-old daughter. The Forrest City school superintendent called in grief counselors to the junior high and elementary schools attended by two of the children.

Neighbors set up a relief fund for the survivors. --- Donations can be made to the Mills-Williams Memorial Fund, First National Bank of Eastern Arkansas, 101 N. Washington, Forrest City, AR 72335. People can call the bank for information at 870-633-3112.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)