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Fire marshal: Child put flammable materials in heater

By Zack Steen

Monday's fatal house fire that killed two young children and their grandmother three has been ruled accidental.

The state fire marshal told Alcorn County Sheriff Ben Caldwell the fire was caused by a child putting flammable materials in a gas heater.

The tragedy has been painful not only for family members, but also at the school where one of victims attended.

It was a sad morning at Biggersville Elementary when students and faculty returned from a three-day weekend on Tuesday.

"Coming in and knowing one of our school babies would not be here has been tough," said Principal Elizabeth White.

She remembers the "always smiling" face of kindergartener Crystlyn Brewer "" "a special little girl" who would have celebrated her sixth birthday on Friday.

"I tell our parents all the time "" their children belong to them 100 percent of the time, but those same children are mine eight hours a day," said White. "We work hard to provide a sense of school family here at Biggersville, and losing one of our own has definitely been hard."

Brewer, along with her two-year-old cousin Dakota Brassfield, and the children's 46-year-old grandmother Samantha Mason were victims of the mobile home fire in rural Alcorn County on Monday.

Mason's adult daughter and the aunt of the children was also inside the home when the fire broke out. She was able to escape with only minor injuries.

While a family morns the loss of three members, a community and school is healing.

"Our teachers worked diligently throughout the day (on Tuesday) to manage their own broken-hearted emotions in order to make certain our students feel as always, safe and loved," said the principal. "We will, no doubt, continue to answer questions as they arise in the next few weeks. But as for now, everything within the school walls is peaceful."