‘I am broken’: Mother devastated after daughter, granddaughter killed in Clinton fire

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CLINTON, Mo. -- A grieving mother lost not only her daughter but also her granddaughter Tuesday morning in a fire in Clinton.

"I just want people to treasure every moment they have with people that they love," Margie Briggs said.

Investigators said the fire inside 27-year-old Taylor Briggs' Clinton apartment appears to be accidental. They think the hard-wired smoke detectors might have been disable, which in this case proved deadly.

Now Taylor's family is heartbroken by the tragic loss.

Taylor Briggs, her son Avery and daughter Adriyana

They've been stricken with a number of deaths in the last decade, and now they're faced with burying two more relatives.

"I am broken," said Margie Briggs, Taylor's mother.

Margie didn't want to believe an early morning phone call, telling her that her daughter's apartment on Third Street in Clinton was on fire.

"I threw on clothes, and I thought, 'It couldn't be,'" she said.

Inside the second story unit along with Margie's daughter was her 4-year-old granddaughter, Adriyana, and a 45-year-old man identified as Ernest McConvile. Investigators said all three died from smoke inhalation.

"Inside the apartment building itself, we did not hear any audible detectors sounding," Clinton Assistant Fire Chief Mark Manuel said. "As far as the exact cause, we can`t rule out smoking or possible electrical causes."

Margie had just seen Taylor and Adriyana on Monday.

"She put her arms around me, and she said, 'I love you nanny,' and I said, 'I love you, Adriyana,' and that's a big thing," Margie said. "It wasn't a big thing last night, but it was a really big thing this morning."

Margie Briggs

Margie remembers Adriyana as being a sassy girl who was too smart for her own good. She said Taylor was a mom obsessed with her children.

"She loved her kids," Margie said.

The hardest part of this all is when Margie had to tell Taylor's 7-year-old son, Avery, who wasn't at home during the fire, that his mom and sister were no longer alive.

"One thing that Avery said when we talked to him was that as long as we had memories, we would never lose his mommy or Adriyana," Margie said. "That they`ll always be in our hearts."

Margie's a strong woman. Between beating cancer last year to losing her husband 5 years ago, the pastor is now leaning on her faith and congregation more than ever.

"God can take the most terrible, awful thing that can ever happen to you, and somehow some good will come from it, somewhere," she said.

She said she finds comfort, even in the midst of agony, in knowing that so many of her loved ones are together.

"We have a whole bunch of angels that are looking down on us, and we`re going to be alright," Margie said.

A memorial fund has been set up for little Avery, who will be staying with his grandmother. Donations can be made through the Bradley and Hadley Funeral Home in Clinton or by clicking this link.

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