EFFINGHAM COUNTY, Ga. (WSAV) — A toddler was killed in a deadly house fire on July 16 in Effingham County.
On October 14, police determined that the fire was caused by a child playing with matches inside the home shortly before the residence caught fire.
According to the Effingham County Fire Department, the fire happened around 9 a.m. on Charlton Road near McCall Road when Rincon Fire Department and Effingham County Fire Department responded to the blaze.
“So I came outside and I saw them down the street and then I saw the smoke coming from the house and I looked and I was like ‘oh that’s a fire,’” said Austin Davis, a neighbor and witness. “I stayed out here pretty much the whole time. The more fire trucks and cops and ambulances showed up and they just kept showing up.”
Davis said the fire was put out quickly which led him to believe the issue wasn’t too serious, but with the significant number of responding law enforcement officers,. he knew something was terribly wrong.
“A Med flight helicopter came and landed at the park down the street and I know the mother was taken in the Med Flight to the burn unit,” Davis said. “And then I do know that one of their children did not make it.”
Neighbors said a family of six live in the house, five of which were in the home. A three-year old boy died. The mother is currently at the Augusta Burn Center suffering severe burns from the blaze. The three other children escaped the fire unharmed.
The news devastated the community.
“I mean it was serious, but I didn’t have any idea that there was a fire or anything like that,” says another witness and neighbor, Edward Holloway.
Davis also says he’s noticed the kids playing around the neighborhood for some time.
“But I’ve seen them play a couple times and all,” Davis said. “They seem like a really nice family. I’m sure they are. But it’s just really sad and unfortunate.”