SHELBY, N.C. — Officials are investigating a house fire in Shelby that killed an eight-year-old boy and left a five-year-old boy severely burned.
Shelby Fire Department responded to a call for a residential house fire just before 11:30 p.m. near the 300 block of Lineberger Street Monday.
Fire officials described the fire as “very progressive” when firefighters arrived at the scene.
A neighbor told NBC Charlotte the mother and her oldest son were moving an old couch from their house to the neighbor’s house across the street when the fire broke out with two young boys still inside.
Brad Bridges lives down the street and was in his living room when the fire started.
“I heard some screaming and yelling, and I came out on my front porch,” Bridges said. “And I realized that my neighbor’s house was on fire. I heard the mother say that one of her babies was inside.”
Fire officials said a neighbor rescued a five-year-old boy, identified by neighbors as Rodriguez Moore, from the burning house. According to the fire department, the boy was rushed to a hospital in Shelby and then taken to a burn unit in Winston-Salem with severe burns.
When the fire department arrived on scene, an eight-year-old boy was still inside the home.
“I ran down to the house. She showed me where the window was that he was at, and I ran to that window, and it was so engulfed in flames it was already too late,” Bridges said.
Neighbors told NBC Charlotte the boy, identified as Jaylin Payne, did not survive.
“It was a bad feeling in realizing that, you know, you couldn’t,” Bridges said. “There was a person inside that house, and you weren’t going to be able to help them.”
The fire marshal’s office is investigating the cause of the fire. Officials believe it was accidental.
Friends started a fund on Facebook to help the family. They are also planning a vigil on Saturday.