7-year-old dies in Westside house fire

Family describes Jayden Johnson as a loving child

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A 7-year-old boy died in a house fire Monday evening in the Wesconnett area of the Westside, according to the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department and family.

JFRD Capt. Eric Prosswimmer said crews were called about 6:40 p.m. Monday to a fire at a home on Bennington Drive, near the intersection of Timuquan Road and Seaboard Avenue.

When crews arrived, according to Prosswimmer, smoke was showing from the second floor of the house, and two adults outside said someone was still inside the second floor of the home.

Prosswimmer said a child died in the fire. Family members identified the child as Jayden Johnson, who turned 7 on March 4.

“He loved being around family he was attached to at the rib. He just loved me and I loved him as well. He was just very sweet,” Saudara Arthur, Jayden’s mother, told News4Jax by phone on Tuesday.

The family said Jayden, who had autism, made everyone smile and loved people, playing with his toy cars and riding the bus to Bayview Elementary School.

Family members said they’re also dealing with the hospitalization of Jayden’s grandmother, who was diagnosed with COVID-19.

“My mother, as well, we all have just been praying for her just making sure that she pulls through,” Arthur said.

Family members said they may have lost everything in the fire. They created a GoFundMe account to raise money to help with expenses from the fire damage to the house and Jayden’s funeral.

“My bedroom, everything that is in there is gone. Everything of Jayden’s that I can remember is gone,” Arthur said.

The state fire marshal and Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Homicide Unit are investigating the deadly fire.

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