Teen girl killed in South Austin fire

February 21, 2013 10:49:14 AM PST
An 18-year-old high school student is dead after a fire at a friend's home early Thursday.

Tamisha Davidson, 18, an Austin Career Education Center student, was visiting a family friend's house when the fire broke out around 12:40 a.m. The fire started in the attic of a home at North Waller and West Iowa Street in the South Austin neighborhood.

A boy in the home was taken to the hospital in stable condition. Three children and two adults escaped.

"She was a really bright girl. No matter what she went through or how hard things got, she was always uplifted and very jolly and happy, exciting and she was always if somebody, her friend was down, she would lift their spirits. She was very happy, very excited and bubbly," said one friend.

School officials and friends said Tamisha was interested in mortuary science. She was one if 12 siblings.

"Really wanted to be something. She told me she was trying to make something of herself," said sister Takara Davidson.

"She wanted to go off to school. She did not want to stay in Chicago," said mom Tamika Davidson.

Deputy District Chief Don Hroma said firefighters encountered a heavy blaze once they climbed the stairs to the second floor and had to tackle the fire from the outside.

"We encountered heavy fire," Hroma said. "We had to back up a little bit and hit it from the exterior."

The fire spread to the second floor of the building, fire officials said. The blaze was extinguished by 1:38 a.m., but it left extensive damage to the attic and the second floor.

An injured man was taken to West Suburban Medical Center in Oak Park, where he was listed in serious but "stable" condition, Hroma said.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.