Family found dead in fire ruled homicide case, man in custody


BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) – What was first believed to be a deadly apartment fire is now ruled a triple homicide by Birmingham Police.

Birmingham Fire was called to East Birmingham Manor off 44th Street North in the early hours of Friday morning. Firefighters pulled three victims from the blaze. They have been identified as 59-year-old Bernice Kelly, her 34-year old son Quortes and her 12-year old neice Aaliyah Budgess. Quortes and Aaliyah were declared dead at the scene and Bernice died on the way to the hospital.

Police have arrested an 18-year-old male. He has not been charged.

Police Chief A.C. Roper says, "This family related homicide is not a random act of violence."

Authorities on the scene quickly noticed something wasn't right and alerted police. Homicide detectives spent most of Friday canvassing the area for evidence.

Neighbors say Bernice was a sweet, quiet lady who never bothered anyone.  They are deeply saddened by the crime and hope a suspect is caught soon.

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