Boy Dies in House Fire Despite Rescue Efforts

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by Allison Brown, Fox 8 Reporter

CLEVELAND -- A Cleveland neighborhood is in mourning after a house fire claimed the life of a young boy.

The flames broke out Friday night on East 82nd Street near Union, and Cleveland firefighters continue to investigate a cause.

Several neighbors tried to help get everyone out of the burning home before officials arrived to the scene.

"There was just too much smoke, and we couldn't get there," said Tony Castillo, who ran inside of the burning house to try and save the people inside.

The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner tells FOX 8 that the name of the boy who died is Jacob Hunter, 7.

Neighbors say a man, woman, and another four year old boy were able to get out of the home safely, thanks to the quick action of neighbors before firefighters arrived.

“We ran into the back door into the kitchen there was a younger boy in there, and the man across the street, he handed him off to me,” said Castillo.

The family dog was also brought to safety after being spotted in the kitchen.

"The dog was wandering around, like, kind of stunned,” according to Castillo.

But no one could get to Hunter in time. Cleveland firefighters found the little boy on the second floor, in a closet. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

"Even if we made it to that room, it was probably so engulfed in flames that who knows what could have happened we could have been trapped ourselves," Castillo said.

“They just did what came natural, and they just tried to go in and save who they could save,” said neighbor, Angela Thomas.

The Red Cross has put the fire victims in a hotel during this time of hardship. Meanwhile, the Jack Russell that was saved is in need of a good home after the tragic fire.

Neighbors tell FOX 8 there are plans for a vigil, Sunday night, right in front of the house where Hunter died.

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