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4 Children Killed In Springfield House Fire

Posted at 5:46 AM, Dec 12, 2016

Four children under age 10 have been killed in a house fire in Robertson County.

The fire broke out around 3:30 a.m. Monday at a home at 809 Poplar Avenue near Perry Drive in Springfield. A neighbor noticed flames at house and called 911 emergency dispatch. 

It only took firefighters 3-4 minutes to get to the scene, but heavy smoke and flames were already visible when they arrived. 

Officials said early investigation indicated the fire began in the living room. 

The children killed were ages 4, 7, 8 and 9.

Friends and strangers created a memorial for the children in the home's front yard. People left items in groups of four - including Dale Barbee, a mother who didn't know the family, but saw the story of what happened Monday morning.

"I drove here from White House to leave a memorial for the children," Barbee said. " I just want them to be able to understand even though her heart may be heavy, that God is still there for her and will provide and take care of her."

Robertson County court records show the children's mother, Brittany Crayton was arrested in October on six charges of child neglect and abuse. She pled guilty to lesser charges.

Crayton escaped the fire unharmed, along with two other children.

An adult male was transported to Vanderbilt University Medical Center. The man was listed in very critical condition. 

The man has been identified as Julian Pope. His oldest daughter, who is 8 years old, was also transported to the hospital. Her condition was not available. 

Springfield Fire Chief Jimmy Hamill said this was the worst fire he's seen in his 40-year career. 

Hamill said crews fought another house fire across the street just four days ago. Investigators believed the fires were not related. 

Agents from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation were called in to assist in the investigation. 

A gofundme page has been set up for anyone wanting to help the family.