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What we know about the deadly DeKalb house fire that claimed 5 lives

The victims were all related, according to loved ones.

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — A family is grieving after losing five loved ones to an early morning house fire in DeKalb County on Tuesday. The DeKalb County Fire Department was called to a home in Decatur before dawn. 

Five people, including two young children, died at the home. Two people were treated at the home while some of the others were taken to a hospital.

Firefighters are still investigating the fire.  Here's what we know so far.

The response

DeKalb firefighters said 10 people were inside the home when they got the emergency call just before 12:30 a.m.

Firefighters rushed to the 1900 block of Janet Lane in Decatur off Glenwood Road to find heavy smoke and flames coming from the structure. 

Around 30 firefighters worked in the early morning hours to douse the flames. DeKalb County Fire Chief Darnell Fullum said when the crew arrived, they knew it was also going to be a rescue mission.

"Anytime they show up on a scene like this where they know the tragedy already occurred -- and in most cases it's going to be recovery, it's tough," he said at a news conference Tuesday.

The fire chief said the emergency call likely came from a neighbor, clarifying that a 911 call did not come from the home. As of Tuesday afternoon, Fullum said investigators weren't sure if the home had working smoke detectors. There are still many unanswered questions at this time because of the damage done by the fire.

On Wednesday evening, DeKalb Fire public information officer Jaeson Daniels said the cause of the fire is deemed as undetermined at this time. They can't determine what actually started the fire because of the extensive destruction.

Who was inside

Ten people were inside when the flames broke out, according to fire rescue. Four of the occupants were children.

DeKalb County Fire said four people died inside the home, a fifth died once pulled from the fire. Two of the victims were young girls, according to family. Two people received medical care outside of the home and three people were taken to nearby hospitals, authorities said.

"My daughter called me, she made it out with her kids," Octavia Cooper, a relative said. "She's pregnant and her water broke trying to get out the house."

Cooper said her sister, Diane Regular was badly burned and was rushed to Grady Hospital. Authorities confirmed a grandmother with second and third-degree burns was receiving medical care.

11Alive's Maura Sirianni learned Cooper's daughter is still in the hospital and did not give birth to her child. Medical staff said she is doing OK and are monitoring her health for the time being. As of Tuesday afternoon, two children have been released from Children's Egleston Hospital, according to the family.

11Alive has not received information about the 10th person in the home.

The victims

Five people from the same family were killed in the fire, including two young girls.

Credit: Provided

Terryona Regular

Cooper said her daughter Terryona Regular died in the fire. Regular was a mother to two young girls.

Angel and Aliyah

Regular's daughters, Angel and Aaliyah also died in the early morning house fire.

Aaliyah was 6years old and celebrated her birthday last week, according to Cooper. Angel was 3.

Credit: Provided

Timothy Regular

Cooper said her brother Timothy Regular died in the fire. The relative said he was Terryona Regular's uncle.

Pedro Coney

Credit: Kenneth Regular Photos

One of the men who died in the fire was Pedro Coney, according to Cooper. Coney was also one of Terryona's uncles, the relative said.

The family has opened an online fundraiser to help pay for funeral and housing expenses. Those who would like to contribute can do so here.

The investigation

DeKalb County officials held a news conference Tuesday afternoon addressing fire prevention and the devastation. Firefighters said the home is in bad shape due to the flames and smoke damage. Burnout out windows, a charred doorway and crime scene tape is what's left at the scene.

"They initiated an aggressive attack and search to find any victims or occupants," Fullum said during a news conference. Fire rescue will now shift its investigation to pinpoint what sparked the flames.

The fire chief said there have been 29 reports of fires in December, 11 have been reported since Friday. He's reminding people to be wary of using space heaters during the cold winter months, to check their smoke detectors and to not overload outlets. He did not say if any of those reasons are part of the fire investigation.

"Fifty percent of all of the fatalities that occur in homes occur between the hours of 11 p.m. and 7 a.m.," he said about fire calls. 

Family members said they celebrate Christmas at the home each year and that everything was destroyed in the flames.

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