Baby dies from fire despite heroic rescue


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A fire broke out in a home on Jacksonville's Northside Friday night that claimed the life of a 6-month-old baby and put an elderly family member in the hospital despite the heroic efforts of a nearby neighbor that rushed to the rescue.

According to officials the fire broke out around 7 p.m. on North Shore Drive between Main Street and I-95 in a Northside neighborhood.

The blaze started in a bedroom of a home where three adults, a 2-year-old and a 6-month-old infant were living.

In a neighboring house behind the home James Hansell and a few other men were enjoying the beginning of their July Fourth weekend when Hansell said he heard screams for help.

"We were playing cards and we immediately ran to front door and couldn't get there at first.  The lady was in the back yelling.  I jumped the fence, went to the back window and she was spraying water (on the fire). I just put my whole body in the window and grabbed the baby," Hansel said.

According to officials, when the Jacksonville Fire Rescue Department reached the home they quickly extinguished the fire and started treating the 3 adults, a 2-year-old and the infant that Hansell rescued.

One elderly adult and the baby were taken to a hospital where the infant passed away from smoke inhalation. The adult was still in critical condition as of Friday night.

"It was really sad. I tried my best to get to the baby and I felt like if I was a second earlier, I coulda' got to the baby and the baby would've been alive," Hansell said.

The other two adults were also hospitalized but did not suffer any major injuries, and the 2-year-old was treated but did not need to be hospitalized officials said.  

Fire officials said that it doesn't appear that the fire was suspicious but JSO homicide detectives and the State Fire Marshall are investigating the blaze due to the injuries to the baby, which is standard protocol.

DCF was also called to investigate which is also standard protocol due to the infant's death.

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