AUGUSTA, Ga.–A father is recovering from burns from a house fire that a mother and the couple’s two young children did not survive. Laterrious Watkins, 2 year old Aubrey McKie, and 1 year old Jacob McKie all died Wednesday in a fire at their home in Edgefield County.
Twonna Williamson got a call Wednesday morning she never imagined in her wildest nightmares. Her daughter and two grandchildren died in a fire.
“My heart hurts because my daughter wasn’t just my daughter, she was my best friend. She was my backbone,” said Williamson.
She got to the scene to find her daughter’s home in a smoking heap of ashes. “It was the worst thing you could ever want to see,” she said.
Crews on the scene told her the only person who made it out alive was the children’s father. She was able to talk to him later to find out what happened.
“He woke up and smelled smoke, and he woke her up and told her to get the kids,” said Williamson.
He was trying to open a window and having trouble with all of the heavy smoke. So LaLa, as friends and family call her, took the kids to find another way out. He says he was finally able to open the window, and he called for his girlfriend.
“He said he got out, and as he got out, he heard my JJ crying,” said Williamson.
Those are the words that haunt her, the ones she keeps playing over in her mind.
“To me, if I hear my babies crying, I’m going to back. I’m going back if I’ve got to go with them, I’m going back,” said Williamson.
He ran to a neighbor’s house to call 911, but help was too late. Williamson says crews found her daughter with her two children in her arms.
Elliott Baskett also lost two grandchildren that day, and nearly lost a son.
“He lost his whole world and that’s all he keeps repeating to me, that he’s lost everything,” said Williamson.
For now, the family is trying to hold it together, and cling to the good times.
Williamson says her daughter would have done anything for her kids, and loved them unconditionally. “She would say, ‘I love you Aubrey. I love you Jacob. And, they would sa, ‘with all my heart.'”
The fire’s cause is undetermined, but Williamson says they were told it likely started by a faulty plug behind the couch.
Now ,they’re faced with three funerals, and the family had no insurance of any kind. Surviving family members have set up an account to help pay for the funerals. You can donate here.