Mother, Daughter Killed in Avondale Estates Fire

Neighbors say Tami and Jess Willadsen died in a house fire Saturday night on Lakesshore Drive. Friends have set up an account on the Go Fund Me website to collect donations for the family.

Neighbors say Tami and Jess Willadsen died in a house fire Saturday night on Lakesshore Drive. Credit: Screenshot from Go Fund Me website
Neighbors say Tami and Jess Willadsen died in a house fire Saturday night on Lakesshore Drive. Credit: Screenshot from Go Fund Me website

A mother and her 10-year-old daughter died Saturday night in a house fire on Lakeshore Drive in Avondale Estates.
The intense flames prevented firefighters from entering the burning house, DeKalb Fire Capt. Eric Jackson told WSB TV.

The father was able to pull his 5-year-old son from the burning home; the child is in critical condition. But, the boy’s older sister and their mother could not escape.

DeKalb Fire officials did not identify the victims, but Decaturish.com says a Go Fund Me account identified the deceased mother and daughter as Tami Willadsen, 43, and Jess Willadsen, 10.

The website says the father, Dave Willadsen had minor burns, while their son, Jack, 5, is in the Grady Hospital burn unit.

Friends have established a Go Fund Me account to raise money for the family. You can click on the Go Fund Me link to find the Willadsen family page, which had raised more than $11,000 by Sunday afternoon.

Dave Willadsen’s stepmother wrote a thank-you note on the site:

“I am Ronelle Willadsen and my husband Steve are trying to adjust to the loss of our dear daughter-in-law and precious granddaughter. We live in Iowa and so appreciate all you are doing for our dear children. Dave needs all your prayers because he will be lost without his girls. Jack is in very dire condition. Thank you all for caring.” 

Neighbors said the family just moved into the neighborhood about six weeks ago. The family was having a housewarming party when the fire started.

Jan Willadsen April 14, 2014 at 12:49 AM
To One and All: Please be reassured that the immediate Willadsen and Eifred family greatly appreciates all the heartfelt concerns and sympathies in this tragically emotional loss. We are relying upon everyone's continuing prayers as we emotionally and physically heal. Blessings to everyone. Jan Willadsen (Aunt and Great Aunt)
Jill Joyner April 14, 2014 at 07:18 AM
I also want to make a correction, the family moved into their home about six weeks ago, however, they have lived in Avondale Estates for over 10 years.
Robin Norris April 14, 2014 at 07:36 AM
The Avondale Estates community is broken hearted in the aftermath of this tragedy. Please be mindful of how stories spread and take on a life of their own. I don't think anyone knows when or how the fire started...this makes it sound like it started while the guests were there. Facts only is a good way to report.
Big Willy April 14, 2014 at 09:01 AM
Sooooo sad :( I feel for this family and pray that god gives you the strength.
Bryan Denney April 15, 2014 at 04:31 PM
My family and I went for a walk Sunday morning in Avondale Estates near Wells and Laredo streets. We saw ashes outside our home and up the street as we walked. I thought they were probably from a bon fire. After learning later in the day about the terrible house fire, I felt a strong feeling of sadness for the family as I saw more ashes throughout our yard. I cannot phantom what the family and their close friends are going through right now. They are in my thoughts.


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