Gretna residents mourn loss of young girls killed in overnight fire

Gretna residents mourn loss of young girls killed in overnight fire

GRETNA, LA (WVUE) - Family and friends are mourning the loss of two young girls after a fatal fire in Gretna early Sunday morning.

"I'm tore up about this. I really am," said longtime neighbor Robert Lemley.

Lemley laid flowers at the home where two young girls lost their lives. He and other Gretna residents are still shaken by the sudden tragedy.

"It's devastating," said another neighbor, who asked to remain anonymous.

Gretna police say the fire broke out close to 1:30 a.m. in the 2300 block of Lafayette Street.

"When I looked, that's when I saw it coming out the back," said neighbor Earl Hansen.

Hansen lives just a few houses down from where the blaze began. He says he awoke to the sound of a neighbor banging on his front door.

"I didn't think it was anything serious," he said.

Then the fire started to spread.

"The wind was blowing so much, it just engulfed both houses in no time, whatsoever," said a witness.

Police say a grandmother was in this home with four, young children when the fire sparked. They say she managed to escape with two of them, but the other two were trapped inside.

"Beautiful identical twins and they were totally blind," said Hansen.

First responders say family members suffered minor injuries trying to rescue the girls but couldn't.

"It was terrible. Even the firemen and police were in tears," said Hansen. "It's just not something you want to see, I can tell you."

Now, locals say they're doing whatever they can to support their grieving neighbors.

Neighbors say a dog was rescued from the second home.

Jefferson Parish Firefighters and the Louisiana State Fire Marshall's Office are still investigating the cause of the blaze. Gretna Police have yet to release the names of the two girls who died.

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