Family speaks after young sisters die in Martin house fire

MARTIN, Tenn. — The air in Martin hangs thick, filled with smoke and heartache after two young girls were killed in a Sunday night house fire.


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The sisters have been identified as 7-year-old Maliyah and 8-year-old Abreanna Yarbrough. Their parents, Austin and Angel Morris, are trying to deal with the loss.

Austin says his wife was cooking and accidentally forgot to turn off the stove. “I think she had gotten her food but accidentally forgot the stove being on.”

Austin said after they noticed the fire they tried to extinguish it, but the flames only grew. Seven people were inside the home, including Austin and his wife, his brother, two of his sons, and the girls upstairs in their room.

“The hallway which leads to go upstairs to the girls had started to cave in,” Austin said.

Everyone else made it out safely, but Austin has minor burns from battling the blaze. The woman who owns the home adjacent to where the fire took place didn’t want to speak on camera but said the two little girls were a joy to be around and that they’ll be truly missed.

“They were the sweetest little girls. They would help me pull weeds, they would pick dandelions in the overgrown yard, and they just chat, chat, chatted constantly.”screen-shot-2017-01-02-at-1-47-55-pm

The family said they were told the girls died of smoke inhalation.

“When they had found them, they was in the bed hugging each other asleep,” Austin said.

Although this is a tough time for the family, Austin said he’s at peace knowing the girls are in a better place. “I feel like they didn’t suffer. I feel that they’re in a better place. God called them home.”

For now, the Morris family is staying at their church. If you would like to donate, the family asks that you send your contribution to First United Pentecostal Church in Martin or to their parents’ house.

Both addresses are listed below:

First United Pentecostal — 219 Crawford Drive, Martin

Parents’ House — 764 Stafford Road in Greenfield