A 6-year-old died in a house fire late Thursday night in Pinetops, leaving the community stunned.
Pinetops Fire Chief Steve Burress said the wood-frame house at 310 N. Second St. was fully engulfed when the first fire bell rang about 11:35 p.m.
“It had a good head start on us,” Burress said. “And it was an old house. It was close to 100 years old.”
Burris said he was still up when the call came in and was in his office.
“If I had looked out my blinds, I would have seen the glow,” he said. “I’m about a block away and was there within two minutes and it was fully engulfed.”
Burress said that after the fact, the footage was viewed from a town-owned camera.
“From about four blocks away, it looked like that whole end of the street (was on fire),” he said.
There were no other injuries.
While Burress declined to identify the victim, a Facebook post by Milton Battle identified the child as his son, Kayden. He also posted pictures of the youngster.
Battle created a Facebook fundraiser, writing, “Late April 28th I received a devastating phone call from a friend of the family. My mother home was on fire and (my) son was trapped within. My son (Kayden) didn’t survive the fire.”
Milton Battle’s fundraiser had raised $3,730 of a $5,000 goal as of Monday afternoon as 94 donors had participated.
A second fundraiser, created by Travis Battle on GoFundMe, read, “… I’m asking for help because last night April 29, 2021, My family and I lost our house and 6 years old nephew due to a home fire. We will appreciate everybody that can help us and everybody who would like to help but can’t just please send prayers.”
A total of $4,374 toward a goal of $10,000 had been given by 94 donors as of Monday afternoon.
Burress said the death was the first fire-related fatality in Pinetops since April 1990.
“It’s been 31 years,” he said.
According to the State Fire Marshal, there had been 49 fire-related fatalities in the state as of Monday afternoon.