Family members remember 8-year-old killed in Clay County fire

The great aunt of Adrianna Morris, 8, says she is heartbroken about the girl's death. (WCHS/WVAH)

The great aunt of an 8-year-old girl, one of four children killed in a house fire over the weekend in Clay County, said she is heartbroken.

"I’m devastated and angry," Marleen Fitzwater said Monday night. "I know it could have happened anywhere, but if they would have given us family a chance to take her in, she would still be alive today."

Fitzwater became emotional talking about her great niece, Adrianna Morris. The girl died in the blaze Saturday night along with two other girls, ages 3 and 4, and a 6-month-old boy.

Fitzwater and her sister, Melonie Morris, Adrianna's grandmother, said they practically raised the little girl, who overcame lots of challenges.

"She could walk and she could talk, but she was to never walk or talk,” Morris said.

“That's what the doctor's thought,” Fitzwater said.

Adrianna beat the expectations of Dravet syndrome by living to be 8 years old, they said.

Last May, she was placed into foster care. The two women over the past several months had been actively trying to get custody of her.

"She was lovable. She never met a stranger. She was so sweet and adorable,” Fitzwater said.

Adrianna lived in the home with four other foster children. Only one made it out safely.

Department of Health and Human Resources officials said the home was last checked in December, and no issues were found. Smoke detectors, alarms and fire extinguishers were all working and in place.

"What I want to say to her now is, ‘I love you baby.' I’m glad she's with God, because I know she's in no pain now,” Fitzwater said.

Firefighters said there will be a candlelight vigil for the four children at 6 p.m. Tuesday in front of the Clay County Courthouse.

The three girls went to Clay Elementary School. School staff said there were extra counselors on hand Monday, to talk with students about the tragedy.

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