A 14-month-old boy died from a fire Friday morning that consumed a mobile home near Lesslie, say neighbors and York County officials.
Joshua Hill, died in the mobile home at 2592 Catawba Church Road in the Apple Valley Mobile Home Park, said York County Coroner Sabrina Gast.
An autopsy is scheduled for Saturday morning.
No official details of the fire have been released by York County officials or the immediate family, which requested privacy.
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However, neighbors said they woke slightly before 8:30 a.m. to screams, a darkening sky and then fire.
“The heat was so intense,” said Chaka Sarpons, who lives in the adjacent trailer. “My front door is their back door,” she said.
Sarpons said she had to leave by her back door, fearing for the safety of her two children, ages 2 and 5.
“I’m too shook up to remember it,” she said.
Jessica Godbold lives three mobile homes way from the burned mobile home.
“I didn’t see smoke at first, but I heard the screams,” Godbold said. “Then the smoke was billowing and Matt was trying to get back into the house.”
Matt is Hill’s older brother, Godbold said. His hair was singed by the fire, Godbold said.
Godbold said she tried to help a York County Sheriff’s Office deputy, who responded to the 911 call within minutes.
They had found a chair, and Godbold said she tried to boost the deputy to a window when the glass exploded.
“It almost hit me, it was horrible,” she said.
The fire is under investigation by the State Law Enforcement Division, the York County Sheriff’s Office and the York County Coroner’s Office. No cause for the fire has been released.
Also responding to the call was an off-duty EMS worker who arrived within moments of the 911 call, said sheriff’s office spokesman Trent Faris.
The EMS worker and deputy found the home fully engulfed.
The Lesslie Volunteer Fire Department also responded.
“There was nothing anyone could do,” Godbold said.
After the fire was extinguished, devastated family members gathered outside while crews investigated.
The fire victim’s grandfather, who didn’t want to be identified, provided a few details about the fire.
“My grandson was full of life and laughter,” he said before going back to comfort his family. He asked for everyone to pray.
Joshua’s mother arrived at the mobile home about 10:20 Friday morning. After hugging a family member, she collapsed near the driveway to her home.
A Piedmont Medical Center ambulance was called and the mother was taken to the hospital. Godbold said the victim’s brother Matt accompanied his mother to the hospital.
As crews continued their investigation Friday afternoon, neighbors watched as children played nearby. When neighbors were asked about the fire, they told their children to go play, as they had not told them what had happened.
Godbold said Joshua was one of five children that lived in the mobile home. His family were “perfect neighbors,” Godbold said. “They didn’t get in trouble, they would always wave and the kids were happy.
“They were just a great family, loving and kind.”
Don Worthington • 803-329-4066