Family friends say a toddler killed in a Thursday morning Davis Street house fire was sweet, outdoorsy and loved the Sesame Street character, Elmo.
The fire occurred Thursday at 12:56 a.m. at 1207 Davis St., off Morlan Park Road, at a home the family was renting. Family and neighbors who tried to rescue 2-year-old Logan Parker were unable to reach him in a back bedroom.
Salisbury Fire Chief Bob Parnell said in a Thursday morning press conference the fire was accidental and caused by an electrical fan that the family had been using in a bedroom.
Parnell said Salisbury Police officers heard the call and arrived at the scene just before firefighters. While fire personnel were en route, they were told the home was filled with smoke and flames were visible. Three adults and two other children — John “John John,” 5, and sister Caylee, 4 — were able to get out of the house. The children's grandfather, Mike Linkins, tried to rescue Logan, but was overcome by smoke. He was treated at the scene for smoke inhalation. The child's mother, Lisa, and another adult, a female friend of Linkins, were able to get out of the home without injuries. The two other children were not injured.
A friend, Krystal Jensen, has been with the family since she received a phone call from the hospital and said she is still in shock.
“Logan was an awesome child. He was a very loving, sweet, innocent kid. He loved his Elmo,” Jensen said.
Jensen, who lives about five minutes from the Davis Street home, said her son, Benjamin, was a playmate of Logan's.
She said Caylee and John have some understanding of what has happened. Jensen said the family is trying to do the best they can, but they don't have insurance and friends say they will need help with funeral costs.
The family stayed overnight with their landlord and friends of the family, Billy and Ramona Davis. They have since been placed in a local hotel by the Hanford Dole Chapter of the American Red Cross.
“He was a good little boy. He wasn't real rowdy. He liked to ride on the lawn mower when I was mowing. He liked being outside,” Ramona said.
She said Logan's favorite toy was his Elmo stuffed toy.
Billy Davis' daughter, Norma Carlyle, has offered the use of her business, Norma's Uniforms & More, as a donation site for clothers for the family. The business is at 1812 E. Innes St., across from the Rowan County Health Department. Carlyle has known the family for about two years. She grew up in the Davis Street home and wanted to help the family.
Rescue personnel who arrived at the home Thursday morning found the house filled with smoke, Parnell said.
He said when police arrived, neighbors and family members were frantically alerting them that someone was still inside.
Salisbury Police Lt. Greg Beam, who is a veteran officer, went in through a door to try to rescue the child, but Logan was already deceased by the time he got there. Beam also was treated at the scene by emergency personnel for smoke inhalation.
“Our department is saddened by the loss of the child and our heart is with the family. Losing a child has got to be a very heart-wrenching and significant loss and we are praying and trying to be as supportive of the family as we can,” Parnell said.
Heather, a neighbor who asked to be identified only by her first name, received a knock on the door from a family member. Her sister called 911 while Heather jumped a metal fence to get to the home. The teen went to the window of a back bedroom where she was told the toddler was inside. Heather punched through a window, injuring her right hand. She spoke with a Post reporter, agreeing to let her voice be used. Video is here.
She told a Post reporter the smoke was black and she could not see. The cloud of smoke was so thick, Heather was unable to go inside. Beam arrived shortly after Heather attempted to go inside.
Additional assistance was provided by the Salisbury Police Department, the Rowan County Sheriff's Office, Rowan County Rescue Squad, Rowan County EMS, Granite Quarry Fire and the Granite-Faith Police Authority.
For more information about how to donate clothing items to the family, contact Norma Carlyle at Norma's Uniforms & More at 704-637-9267.
Norma Carlyle is collecting the following sizes for the Linkins family.