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Officials ID Children Killed In Springfield House Fire

Posted at 11:41 AM, Dec 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-16 20:25:33-05

Officials have identified four young children who died in a house fire in Robertson County.

The fire broke out early Monday morning at a home on Poplar Avenue near Perry Drive in Springfield. A neighbor noticed flames at the 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 with the Springfield Fire Department said Julian and Juliana Pope, both 2-years-old, died in the fire. Julissia Pope, age 4, and Brianna Lewis, age 7, were also killed. 

Their mother Brittany Crayton and two of her children made it out safely.

Their grandmother identified them as Byron Crayton and Brantavious Lewis. She said now they have to learn how to cope with the death of their four siblings.

Julian Pope senior and another child remain in critical condition at the burn unit located at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Mary Cornelius, the grandmother of 7-year-old Brianna Lewis was in tears when she talked to us about the fire.

Mary Corenlius said, "He said that the house was in so much flames that they had to put a hose up just for the firefighters to get through."

Cornelius said two of Brianna's siblings were able to escape with their mother from the fire.

Corenlius said "She saved Byron and Brantavius...She went back in also to try to save the babies but she couldn't get to them so she went out the window."

Firefighters and the father of the trapped children suffered serious burns trying to get to them.

Corenlius said, "So when they came out they found out there was another baby in there.  So when they went in there they had to feel around to find the baby bless her heart I don't know which one it was and come out."

Corenlius said Brianna's father is in prison. He wants to publicly thank those who risked their lives to save who they could.

Corenlius said, Brandon his father knows and he wanted me to tell Mr. Pope that he appreciated him going in there trying to save them babies. Not just his but his also."

So as several families try to heal from this tragedy, Cornelius had a message for others during this holiday season.

Cornelius said, "Just hold your grandbabies tight. Live your life and be young with them and enjoy them. Do whatever you can because sometimes there so far and so close you can't get to them."

Two Springfield firefighters suffered burns to their ears as they ran into the burning home.

They were identified as Lt. Jeff Glodoski and Derek Osborne. On Friday their chief said they are expected to be okay.

On Friday night there was a vigil held for the children who were killed at legion field.

If you would like to donate to the families during this time, you can send checks to the Springfield Chamber of Commerce:

Fire Victims Fund
503 W. Court Square
Springfield, TN 37172

The exact cause remained unknown.

Two firefighters, identified as Derek Osborne and Lt. Jeff Glodoski, received burns but are expected to be okay.