Overnight fire in Elkville kills mother and daughter

By Heartland News
ELKVILLE, Ill. - A mother and her daughter were killed early Friday morning in an apartment fire above a furniture store in Elkville.
Shortly before 2 a.m. Friday morning firefighters and police received a 911 call of a fire in Elkville.  When they arrived on the scene a few minutes later they found flames shooting out of the windows of an apartment on top of the SHF Furniture building.

Neighbors living nearby also rushed to the scene to try and save the residents living in the adjacent apartments.

"She was yelling out that window right there," said Dwight Wilmington of Elkville. "We couldn't even see her but you could hear her saying please come and help me."

Wilmington and an Illinois State Trooper tried to reach 32-year-old Zakia Davis and her six-year-old daughter Ashantie Hillard by climbing through another apartment unit's window.

"And the officer said 'Dwight don't go in there.'  And I said 'I'm going.' I went first and he was right behind me.  We only got about half way there and the smoke and flames were just too intense," Wilmington said.  "But when somebody says there's a baby in there you just to save the babies life."

Friends of the family began arriving on the scene shortly after rescuers removed the victims from the building.

"She was a real good person," said Jaima Drisdale of Du Quoin. "And she took good care of her kids and her brother's kids.  She worked hard."

Police say only one member of the family made it out of the blaze alive.

"The victim's husband Coy Davis was in there.  And he made an attempt to go in and get her but the smoke and heat was too much for him to get to her," said Elkville Chief of Police Kenton Schafer.

The Illinois State Fire Marshall's office is investigating the cause of the fire.