Two children killed in Guilford Co. house fire, victims identified

GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. — Authorities said two children are dead after a house fire Saturday morning north of Gibsonville in Guilford County.

Officials said the incident was reported at around 6:48 a.m. at 5913 Hwy 61 North just south of Frieden Church Road.

The victims have been identified as 1-year-old Jade Hawks and 4-year-old Matthew Ridge-Powls.

Authorities said they saw heavy smoke and were told two children were inside. They said the victims were found dead in the same bed together.

Officials said the victims were with their grandfather at the time. He reportedly tried rescuing them but was unable to.

Guilford County authorities said the fire was started by a space heater that ignited combustible material. It has been ruled accidental.

Firefighters said about 50 percent of the home was in flames when they arrived. An estimate in damages was not provided.

Authorities said the bodies of the victims have been sent to Chapel Hill for autopsies.

Officials said six different departments were on the scene with 35 fire personnel.

Responding departments included Fire District 28, Gibsonville, Whitsett, McLeansville, Northeast and Guilford County Emergency Services.

Guilford County authorities said the home did not have any fire alarms. They are stressing the importance of have properly operating smoke detectors.

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