STATESVILLE, N.C. Family members confirmed that a 9-year-old boy was dead after a fire in the 500 block of Brevard Street in Statesville early Sunday morning.
Neighbors reported seeing smoke about 1:30 a.m.
Authorities said heavy smoke kept bystanders, including the first officers to respond, from locating Lerik Ramsuer. Firefighters were able to locate the boy inside the home. He was taken to Iredell Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Lerik's 12-year-old sister escaped through a window.
Family members said the two children were left alone at the home after the man watching them stepped out.
Statesville police were working with the fire marshal's office to determine the cause of the fire. It was not certain if criminal charges would be filed.