• Palatka girl dies after house fire; mother was absent from home

    By: Kaitlyn Chana , Varisa Lall Dass , Action News Jax


    PALATKA, Fla. - An 8-year-old girl died Saturday at UF Health Shands Hospital in Gainesville after she was left unattended while a house fire broke out in her home.

    The child was initially taken to Putnam Community Medical Center and then transported to Shands. 

    Action News Jax obtained exclusive video of the fire from a witness that was then given to law enforcement to be added into the Palatka Police Department criminal investigation. 

    Neighbors told us the little girl hurt in the fire is Deviet McGee. 

    We gave this video to law enforcement after a neighbor told us it shows Deviet’s mom is seen watching her house burn as her daughter is still inside. Neighbors told us she didn’t show much emotion during the incident. 

    Police confirmed to us that the video does show the girl’s mother, but they did not indicate whether she was at fault.

    The Palatka Police Department said the fire erupted at midnight Friday. They say due to suspicious evidence at the scene, they are actively investigating the fire.

    They could not confirm if any accelerants were found in the house that make them suspect arson, only saying they have not made any arrests so far. 

    The State Fire Marshal is offering a reward for anyone with information leading to an arrest in the case.  

    The Palatka Police Department reports that the child’s mother, Yvette McGee, was absent from the home before the fire for an unspecified amount of time.  

    The Florida Department of Children and Families told us they’re investigating this case to learn who was supposed to be supervising the child. 

    Download the Action News Jax app to get updates on this story. 

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