10-year-old dies in mobile home fire, neighbors rescue child's baby brother

Published: Sep. 14, 2017 at 10:41 AM EDT
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Marion County deputies said a ten-year-old was killed after a mobile home caught fire Thursday morning.

Deputies received the call at 2:58 AM and responded shortly after to 5630 SE 183rd Ave. Rd. in Ocklawaha.

If not for some fast acting neighbors, there may have been an even greater loss of life.

"Two young boys came out running across the yard covered in soot yelling, 'Can you help my mother in the house [it] caught on fire. Can you help me, can you help me?" Justin Cole, a neighbor, said.

Roommates Justin Cole and Shaun Long did not have much time to think.

"We went running down to the house and Justin had kicked the door in right away," Long said. "I tried to go in through the front and it was way too hot and we could hear the cries from the baby and the young brother and I couldn't get in there at all."

Cole said he broke a window, crawled inside, covered a one-year-old in a mattress and sheet, and then pulled the mattress out the window.

"It's petrifying. I still hear the little boy screaming in my head and the little baby. It was black. Covered in soot," he said.

"I just continued CPR and kept him breathing, talking to him and at that time his eyes opened up and that was really good feeling," Long said.

The baby was taken to UF health with serious injuries, but is expected to live.

Deputies said once the fire was extinguished, the ten-year-old boy -- the baby's brother -- was found dead inside.

"We couldn't get one, but that's something that I'm still going to deal with probably for the rest of my life. But I just have to look at it as I saved the little boy, I saved the little boy," Long said.

The children's mother, another adult, and her two other young children were also able to escape.

The State Fire Marshal is investigating the cause of the fire. Marion County Major Crimes detectives are investigating the child's death.

Names will be released once family members have been notified.