MONROE, N.C. (AP) -- A 4-month-old boy burned to death when flames and intense heat from a house fire kept rescuers from entering the dwelling on Tuesday.
``The fire appears to have started in the general area of the residence where the infant was,'' said Monroe fire Chief Ron Fowler.
Joyce Tanner, the child's guardian, escaped injury and ran for help as flames engulfed her home around midday, officials said.
``She said she went to the mailbox and when she came back she saw the house on fire,'' said Monroe Police Chief Bobby Haulk. ``She then ran to the road and flagged down help.''
Haulk said a passing motorist tried to help, but flames quickly consumed the house.
When city firefighters arrived on the scene, they were advised of the infant inside the house, where heavy smoke and flames pored from beneath the eaves of the roof, Fowler said.
``They tried everything they could to get inside, but the heat and fire was too intense,'' he said.
Investigators were looking for possible trace evidence around the body of the infant in the event the fire evolves into a homicide. The child's identity was not immediately available.
Two middle-school aged boys also lived at the residence. One of the boys arrived at the home shortly after the blaze started, police said.
Tanner's relationship to the children or how many lived in the home were unclear.