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Fire chief: Child playing with lighter caused deadly Conyers house fire

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CONYERS, Ga. -

A child playing with a lighter caused a fire that killed four children in Conyers, Rockdale Fire & Rescue Chief Dan Morgan said on Friday.

The fast-moving flames at the two-story duplex late Tuesday claimed the lives of 8-month-old Deon Glass, 3-year-old Amoni Roberts, 7-year-old Dar'Shawn Glass and 9-year-old Ah'Dariya Glass.

Deshon's mother, 28-year-old Reba Glass, desperately attempted to save her five children. She managed to rescue her 6-year-old son by throwing him out of a second floor window.  The 28-year-old mother suffered burns on 40 percent of her body. The children's grandmother escaped the fire without serious injuries.

In a press conference on Friday, Morgan said that investigators determined the cause after reviewing evidence and interviewing survivors and the child's father.

"All indications show it was a child playing with a lighter. What the other children were doing at that time, they were found in bed, but I can't make that determination if he was out there by himself," said Morgan.

MOrgan said all resources will be made available to the family.

"We need to make sure that this 6-year-old gets the help that he needs," Morgan said.

The fire chief said he hopes that other families will put together a fire safety plan.

On Friday, Dar'Shawn's first grade classmates at Shoal Creek Elementary School held a private celebration of the upcoming birthday he will never see.  Dar'Shawn would have turned 8 on Sunday.

Students wrote personal notes and tied them to balloons to mark the special occasion.

"The balloons had messages written on cards attached to the balloons that the students had written," said Cindy Bell of Rockdale County Schools. "When something like this happens, where we feel helpless, we want to help in any way that we can, especially children when they can write cards and express feelings, it's just all part of that healing process."

At 1:30 p.m. the balloons were released into the sky.

"I think that's a good thing, the releasing balloons because that's healing, too, for the kids. That teaches them, that opens up discussion and communication for these kids because they're hurting, too," said Monica Simpson, a parent at the school.

Deshon's mother, 28-year-old Reba Glass, desperately attempted to save her five children. She managed to rescue a 6-year-old son by throwing him out of a second floor window.  The 28-year-old mother suffered burns on 40 percent of her body.

The family's pastor, Billie Cox, said that Reba Glass was excited to hear about the ceremony.

The cause of the fire has not been determined, but Rockdale fire officials said that it started in the bathroom and hallway area on the second story of the duplex. There weren't any working smoke detectors in the home, according to investigators.

 A Facebook page has been set up for the Glass family, and donations for the family are being accepted under the "Glass Family Memorial Fund " at Wells Fargo Bank.

According to a post on the Facebook page, a memorial service for the Glass family will be held at the Springfield Baptist Church in Conyers. No time was given for the service.

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