Fort Worth

Child Dead, 4 Others Injured in Fort Worth Fire

Cause of fire still unknown

There is no known cause as of Friday afternoon for a fire Thursday in Fort Worth that killed a 9-year-old boy and hospitalized his three brothers, ages 2 to 14, who were home alone at the time.

The fire was reported around noon in the 6600 block of Rockdale Road, just south of the Altamesa Boulevard exit of Interstate 35W in south Fort Worth.

The child who died, identified Friday as 9-year-old David Ramirez, was apparently trapped inside the house which was rapidly filling with smoke, according to eyewitnesses who tried to help get the boy out to safety.  The Tarrant County medical examiner said Ramirez's cause of death was inhalation of smoke and carbon monoxide.

"I broke the windows. I broke the, they have double-paned windows. I broke, I don't know how, but I broke it with a statue. I threw it through and it broke," said neighbor Charaity Parker, 19, who was temporarily hospitalized for smoke inhalation following her rescue attempt.

"He was crying. He was screaming. He was screaming, and I was trying to get his attention to try to tell him to come to the front, because I was gonna get through the window but I couldn't," Parker said, fighting back tears.

Parker and several other passersby, including a mailman, helped the other three brothers get to safety.

Next-door neighbor Kavodrick Thomas, 18, used an aluminum baseball bat to break a window and try to get to Ramirez.

"We just kept trying to get him, but there was too much smoke, like thick smoke so we couldn't really breathe," Thomas said, his white T-shirt still stained with soot from one of the youngest two children who he helped usher to a neighbor's house before the paramedics arrived.

The children were taken to Cook Children's Medical Center, where the 9-year-old died.

Officers at the hospital said they observed paramedics performing CPR on the child, but shortly after arriving the child was pronounced deceased.

Two of the surviving children have serious injuries that include both smoke inhalation and burns. The third child has minor injuries, according to authorities.

Neither of the parents of the four boys was home, according to neighbors.

Both parents work and will sometimes leave their oldest, age 14, in charge of his three younger brothers, ages 2, 5 and 9.

Hours after Fort Worth firefighters extinguished the flames, Parker told NBC 5 she is hopeful the 9-year-old knew that even if he was the only one in the house, the boy was not alone.

"He was close enough to hear everybody out here screaming to get his attention. He was close enough to know that people was out there trying to get him. He was close enough to hear his brother calling his name. He was close enough to know that we was just not fixing to let him die or burn," Parker said. "And I could hear his scream. His scream was trying to tell me to help him. So that was my first thing to do was go try to get him out, try as hard as I could."

NBC 5's Ben Russell, Chris Van Horne and Amanda Guerra contributed to this report.

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