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7-year-old dies in Center Point house fire, neighbors saddened

Published: Dec. 7, 2021 at 6:16 AM CST
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CENTER POINT, Ala. (WBRC) - Center Point Fire Fighters are still investigating a fire that killed a seven-year-old girl and critically injured a woman.

The Jefferson County coroner has identified the little girl as Za’Niyah Fox.

Neighbors said they can’t believe this has happened and are saddened that they won’t be able to see her smiling face again.

It happened around 6 o’clock Sunday morning in the 2700 block of Seventh Place Northeast.

Pamela Thrash was awakened by sirens and flashing lights.

“We came outside stood right there on the porch and it was just blazing flames coming out the house and I was like, ‘Oh God, I hope it’s nobody in the house.’”

But sadly, there was.

Thrash said she and her two 11-year-old boys watched as paramedics wheeled seven-year-old Za’Niyah Fox and her grandmother onto an ambulance not knowing it would be the last time they’d see their friend alive.

“Ryan…he’s really close to her, and the other one, he’s hard to read at times, he’s not going to say anything too much, but Ryan was like, ‘Let’s go see the fire, let’s go over there...you know… always a protector. He was more like her littler protector. He felt like he was,” Thrash said.

Fire Chief Gene Coleman said another family member was able to get out of the house and alerted fire fighters that Za’Niyah and her grandmother were still inside.

Thrash says her son is taking the news of Za’Niyah’s passing hard, but she’s thankful grief counselors were on hand at Chalkville Elementary where they all attend school.

“And that’s the terrible memory of you know seeing your little friend and then possibly seeing them in a casket. That’s just a lot. It’s hard any time, but Christmas? It’s supposed to be fun, a lot of excitement, things to look forward to.

Thrash said she’ll remember Za’Niyah as precious, energetic, and full of life.

She said her thoughts and prayers are with the family during this difficult time.

Chief Coleman said Za’Niyah’s grandmother is still fighting for her life tonight.

UPDATE: Za’Niyah’s grandmother, 41-year-old Waniki Lushun Fox, died Tuesday afternoon at UAB Hospital according to the Jefferson County Coroner.

He said the fire started in the kitchen and appears to be accidental.

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