House fire that killed 13-year-old girl under investigation

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — A house fire that killed a 13-year-old girl Saturday is under investigation.

Family members identified the victim as Ayanna Smith, a seventh-grader at Walkertown Middle School.

Officials said 23 firefighters responded to 1020 William Drive around 8:40 a.m. Saturday and had the fire out within about a half an hour.

Authorities said eight people were inside the home at the time, including six children.

Family members said the other children ranged in age from 4 months to 10 years old.

Officials said they believe the fire started in a room being occupied by the children.

Friends and family have set up a memorial in Smith’s honor at the corner of William and Tyler drives, with words of encouragement for the family.

Grief counselors will be at the school Monday to talk with family and friends of Ayanna.

The home is said to be a total loss. The Red Cross is helping the family of nine find a place to stay.

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