AIKEN, S.C. (WJBF) – Just after 2 A.M. Wednesday, a fire broke out in a trailer in Aiken, leaving a 4-year-old severely burned. He is receiving treatment at the Joseph M. Still Burn Centers at Doctor’s Hospital.
The next door neighbor called 911 early Wednesday morning when he woke up to see flames and heard calls for help.
“I wake up and I see her out there covered in a towel and she’s going back and forth from the yard going, “Help there’s a baby! Help there’s a baby!’ And then there’s smoke from that window and then I called 911–and the house goes up,” neighbor Ashton Rigsby said.
The New Ellenton Fire Department arrived on the scene six minutes after Rigsby’s 911 call. Fire Chief Mike Kellems immediately went inside the trailer to search for the child.
“They did a good job, they came and got him out of the house,” Rigsby said. “Nobody could tell where he was. Originally she was going back and forth saying he was over here, then she said he was over here, then she said he was in the middle. I think the poor kid was crawling around.”
Once Chief Kellems made it inside the burning trailer, he heard moaning coming from a smoke-filled hallway, where he found the child conscious, but injured.
“He was visibly burned, yeah. He had a blue line of a vein kind of on his stomach, there was some charring on his lips. But he was speaking– a little,” Rigsby said.
The child was rescued within three minutes of firefighters’ arrival, less than 10 minutes after the initial 911 call was made.
The woman at the home was not the child’s mother. She was babysitting the 4-year-old when the fire erupted, and she sustained minor injuries.
New Ellenton Fire Department believes the fire was caused by something left unattended on the stove.
“I think she was just kind of watching after a friend’s kid, and something must have been in the oven she said… and the house caught up,” Rigsby said.
The Aiken County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the circumstances surrounding the boy’s injuries.