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One Child Dead, Two Critical in Lilburn House Fire; Evidence of Meth Found in Home

One child was pronounced dead at the hospital; the other two suffer from smoke and burn injuries

Update: All three children have died. Police file murder charges. .

A 3-year-old boy died and his 18-month-old sister and 4-year-old brother were in serious condition late Thursday night after a house fire earlier in the day in the 1100 block of Spring Mill Drive in Lilburn.

"This is now a fatal fire," said Gwinnett Fire Public Information Officer Capt. Tommy Rutledge said in a phone call around 8:15 p.m. "One [of the children] was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital."

Gwinnett Police has joined in the investigation of the fire, Rutledge said. Gwinnett Police Cpl. Jake Smith confirmed via email that evidence of methamphetamine-making was found in the house. Whether that was the cause of the fire is not known.

Rutledge said the other two children were "still clinging to life" Thursday night and were in critical condition with smoke inhalation and burn injuries.

The names of the children have not been released.

The two-story house is located inside the Spring Mill subdivision, just off of Five Forks-Trickum Road.

At 4:07 p.m. a 911 caller reported the fire and that were possibly three children trapped on the second floor, according to Rutledge.

Rutledge said several bystanders — particularly two teenage boys and a man who was driving by — had already removed two of the children by the time firefighters had arrived at 4:12 p.m.

John Lease of Lilburn, owner of a home-improvement company, said he saw the teenagers on the roof trying to remove the children through a second-floor window. Lease said he was driving eastbound on Five Forks-Trickum Road to his home nearby when he saw the smoke and the teenagers.

Lease grabbed the ladder out of his truck and used it to help take the children to safety.

"By the time I got the second child down to the ground, the fire fighters arrived," Lease said

"They were burned pretty bad," Lease said. " I have grand-babies of my own. I don't care to go through something like that again.

"I hope they make it, but I don't know."

Rutledge said the teenagers were able to remove the third child.

Rutledge also said it is believed that the mother and another family member was at home when the fire broke out.

The cause of the fire is unknown, but Rutledge said it look like it began on the first floor and sent smoke throughout the house. The interior of the house sustained major damage.

Rutledge said Gwinnett Fire and Gwinnett Police are investigating the fire.

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