Salisbury Fire Chief Bob Parnell said during a Thursday morning press conference the cause of an early morning fire that claimed the life of a 2-year-old boy was an electric fan the family was using. Parnell did not disclose the child or the family's name, he said, pending notification of other family members. He did not say how the child became separated from the rest of the family.
A neighbor, Heather, who asked to be identified only by her first name, received a knock on the door from a family member. Heather's sister called 911 while she jumped a metal fence to get to the home. The teen went to a back bedroom that she was told the toddler was in and punched through a window with her right hand. She told a Post reporter the smoke was black and she could not see. The teen was unable to go inside the home. Shortly after the teen tried to get inside, Salisbury Police Lt. Greg Beam arrived at the home, located off Morlan Park Road. Authorities said Beam went inside to rescue the child, but the child was already deceased by the time the officer reached him.
Fire crews arrived on the scene after the child was reported trapped in the burning home at 1207 Davis St. just before 1 this morning.
Beam was able to recover the child's body from the home, said Salisbury Police Lt. Brian Stallings.
Beam and a grandfather were reported suffering from smoke inhalation at the scene. Stallings said the grandfather was overcome by smoke. Three adults and three children reportedly lived in the home.
Fire crews were removed from the structure just after 1 a.m. and moved to a defensive mode in battling the blaze. They later gained control and were able to go back in to survey the scene and make sure no one else was inside.
The fire is under investigation, but no criminal activity is suspected.