Girl, 8, dies in mobile home fire

January 24, 2011 5:04:26 AM PST
A family is devastated after an 8-year-old girl died in a fire just northeast of Houston. The little girl was trapped in a mobile home, and her brothers had tried to get her out.

The girl's father identifies her as 8-year-old Carlecia Boyd. He says she was still sleeping this morning when the fire started. Neighbors and even her brothers tried everything but couldn't save her.

There is nothing left of the mobile home in Shepherd where on Sunday morning, the day started as typical, but quickly turned tragic.

"How could something go down so fast?" said neighbor Rhonda Lewis.

Lewis has a heart full of regret as she replays the events of this morning over and over in her mind.

"I should have been able to do something," she said. "What do you do when your best is not enough and a child is at stake?"

Lewis and another neighbor, Kenneth Culley, found themselves facing the fire around 7:30pm.

"Stuff started exploding," Culley said.

Carlet Boyd had just left the home to take his wife to work, leaving behind their 8-year-old daughter, 10- and 6-year-old sons and one of their friends. Within minutes, the older son told his father the house was engulfed.

"He said, 'Dad, we smell smoke and by the time we went in there to try to look, you couldn't see anything. You couldn't, ya know?'" Boyd said. "So my little boy and his friend jumped out the window."

Culley heard screams and ran to help.

"Busted two windows out but I couldn't get in the smoke was too thick," he said.

By then, Lewis was at the house too, but the fire was too intense.

"All I could think about is if I could get to the other side of that wall, I could get that baby out," she said.

When we spoke the little girl's father, he was still in shock.

"I don't know what to say, I don't even know what to say," Boyd said.

Now the community is helping as best they can, collecting clothes and other supplies for the family that lost everything and much more.

This isn't the first time this family has suffered such a loss. The father tells us their 15-year-old daughter died a year ago almost to the day from a heart condition. The couple's two sons who survived the fire are staying with a relative as CPS investigates, which is protocol any time a child dies.