Child dies in early-morning fire in Lakewood

January 4, 2013 2:14:36 PM PST
A child died and three other people were injured in an early-morning fire in Lakewood, New Jersey, Friday.

The fire broke out at the home on Sterling Avenue just after 2 a.m.

"On a personal level, I wish I could have did more," Tim Millheiser said.

But on a professional level, Millheiser did everything that he could. Tim is a volunteer firefighter here in Lakewood. He was jolted out of bed by a raging fire across the street and the sound of police officers banging on his door looking for a ladder. He had one.

"I grabbed the ladder with the cops and we placed it up at the window," he said.

Already outside of the house were a mother, father and two children - both boys ages 9 and 2. Their 6 year old brother was still inside, surrounded by the flames.

The boys' father was in a panic. Neighbor Ralph Ventura saw him on the back deck with police officers.

"They were trying to get him away from the house. He was grabbing buckets or whatever he could find to break windows and get into the house," Ventura said.

Eventually two officers and a firefighter were able to get to the 6 year old. They performed CRP, but he would later die at the hospital. His 9 year old brother was rushed there as well in critical condition.

"The parents were right there in the middle of the street crying and everything," Andre dean said.

The loss of a child is the worst kind of nightmare for a parent. For those who tried so desperately to save him, it is equally heartbreaking.

"It's just the worst feeling in the world. You tried your best. Everyone tried their best," Millheiser said.

The cause of the fire has been ruled accidental.

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