Mother of child killed in East Point apartment fire arrested, charged with murder

Credit: Fulton County Sheriff's Office

Credit: Fulton County Sheriff's Office

Second child injured is the sibling of girl killed

The mother of a child who was killed in an East Point apartment blaze was arrested Thursday, police said.

Nicole Ashley Jackson is facing murder charges, two counts of first-degree cruelty to children and criminal attempt to commit a felony, Fulton County Jail records show. The 27-year-old is the mother of both the child injured in the fire and the child found dead, city spokeswoman Renita Shelton said.

Crews were dispatched to the Polaris at East Point apartments along Washington Road just after 3 p.m. on Wednesday after a resident called 911 about the blaze. By the time firefighters got to the scene a few minutes later, Shelton said heavy smoke was coming from one of the buildings and evacuations were underway.

After an aggressive attempt to extinguish the fire, firefighters were able to enter the building and begin searching for victims. That’s when crews found the body of a young girl in an upstairs apartment.

“I regret to inform you that there has been a fatality. We have found the body of a little girl,” Shelton previously said from the scene.

At the time, Jackson had not yet been tied to the fire and was considered missing, Shelton said. No other details were provided on the circumstances of her eventual arrest.

The sister of the girl found dead was outside the building by the time crews arrived at the complex and was taken to a hospital for fire-related injuries, Shelton said. Officials did not provide the extent of her injuries. Both girls appeared to be under the age of 10, according to Shelton, but their ages have not been confirmed.

ExploreGirl found dead, another person missing after East Point apartment fire

Seven of the eight apartments that went up in flames were occupied, causing at least seven families to be displaced, Shelton said. Officials said the building is a complete loss, with the roof having collapsed in.

The complex, which was built in 1967, was formerly called Brookfield before being sold in July and renamed. It previously was named Thirty72 apartment.

In 2020, six serious crimes at the complex occurred, including a homicide, a rape and two aggravated assaults, according to police. In 2018, Brookfield began providing overnight security, fixed lighting and allowed two officers to live in the complex for free after a legal battle to convince the owners to make the apartments safer for residents, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution previously reported. One year prior, conditions were so bad that the city said that not even police officers would go into the complex.