Two-year-old boy dies in trailer home fire

December 17, 2010 4:11:49 PM PST
Friday brought utter heartbreak for a Montgomery County family after a fire broke out in their home and a two-year-old boy trapped inside never made it out.

It happened on Red Leaf and Leafy Road in East Montgomery County.

Little Jaiden Cole was spending the day at home while his four older siblings were away at school. He died in the trailer home on Friday.

In the end, investigators say Cole never had a chance to get out. At just two years old, he was the youngest of five in the family.

"He was a precious little boy," longtime family friend Brenda Toweoy said. "He loved his brothers and sisters; he loved everybody."

Investigators say Cole was being watched by a caretaker, described as his grandmother's boyfriend. When the fire broke out on the front porch, the caretaker told investigators that both he and Cole were inside sleeping.

"He went outside to extinguish the fire," Montgomery County Precinct 4 Judge James Metz said. "Whether he was in a state of shock or panicked, but he didn't take the child out with him -- obviously."

Neighbor Brian McCraw tried to rescue the little boy.

"Stepmother woke me up and told me that the next door neighbor's house was on fire," McCraw said.

But the fire moved too fast. Cole died in a bedroom.

For those who know the family, they're feeling shock mixed with anger.

"I think they should have been watching the baby a lot better. You don't leave a kid in here. I don't know; I just feel that he should have been watching the baby a lot better," neighbor Laly Bierie said.

The caretaker was transported to the hospital for non-life-threatening injuries. Investigators say it's too early to speculate about cause or possible charges.

Cole's parents are trying to cope with an incomprehensible loss.

"Beautiful child, beautiful child; an apple of his father's eye," Toweoy said.

Investigators say they're noticing some discrepancies between the caretaker's story and where the child's body was found, but they say it could just be a course of confusion since the investigation is still in the very early stages.

Meanwhile, the family plans on staying with relatives. In addition to losing a child, family members lost everything they own.


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