Florida Toddler Dies in Blaze

March 17, 2008
Six people were inside the home when the fire started.


Investigators were working Monday to determine the cause of a fire that left one child dead Sunday night.

It happened along Bellevue Avenue in Daytona Beach.

Officials said six people were inside when the fire ignited -- mother, her boyfriend, another adult and three children.

Authorities said neighbors tried to save the child inside the apartment.

"I did what I could, but it was so hot and so smoky I couldn't really breathe," neighbor Michael Scott said.

Scott said he did not hesitate to go into the apartment to rescue whomever who was inside. When he went in the first time, the smoke was too thick, so he tried again.

"I had a T-shirt over my face. I grabbed one kid and got him out of there," Scott said.

Firefighters were able to rescue one of the children, Kathryn, using thermal imaging. She was unconscious and transported to a hospital, and Scott rescued a second child, 5-year-old Chase.

Investigators said a third toddler, 4-year-old Krystal, died in a bedroom in a crib.

"Just about all the guys who are working have children, and some of them ... when the child is the age of their child, it gets personal," Daytona Beach Fire Department spokesman James Bland said.

The childrens' grandmother said her son has custody of them, but that his estranged wife recently won weekend visitation rights. Susan Cain said what has happened to an already divided family is too much to bear.

Authorities have interviewed the three adults and the six-year-old, and the state fire marshal's office is investigating the blaze.

To comment on this story, send an e-mail to Aixa Diaz.

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