3-year-old boy rescued from house blaze dies after following HERO father back into home

A three-year-old boy has died after he was rescued from a house fire by his father – but then followed the man when he raced back into the burning building to save the rest of his family.

Little Layden Thomas was pulled out of his home in Sharon, Pennsylvania, on Monday night by his heroic father, Terry Thomas, after a candle apparently tipped over and set the property ablaze.

However, when he saw his dad running back into the house to rescue his mother, Brittany Smith, and two siblings – a newborn baby and a five-year-old girl – the youngster reportedly followed him.

Tragically, no-one realized he had run back into the blazing home until it was too late.

While Mr Thomas, Miss Smith and their daughter and baby escaped from the fire alive, Layden was discovered dead under a bed after his family could not find him anywhere outside the property.

It is believed he died of smoke inhalation, CBS reports.

‘It’s unimaginable, I did my best, I got him to safety,’ Mr Thomas said through tears.

‘I’ve seen things happen, but I never thought it’d hit this close to home.’

Miss Smith added: ‘I wouldn’t wish this on anybody. He was a good boy. He always would come up to me if I was upset, tell my mommy I love you, I’m your best friend. It’s just so surreal.’

The fire in the 1000 block of Sherman Avenue started at 11.15pm on Monday after Layden’s sister accidentally knocked over a candle that their parents had lit during a power outage, officials said.

The flame from the candle caused the couch to catch fire, before the blaze quickly spread.

Mr Thomas, Miss Smith and their three children were all at home at the time.

As the house erupted into flames, Mr Thomas frantically carried Layden outside. He ‘put him on the porch and went back in for the mother, an infant and a five-year-old’, Lt Mark Johnson told WTAE.

But while he was rescuing the rest of his family, the father had no idea that his son had followed him back into the house, it is reported. He only realized after he emerged from the burning home again.

‘Everybody was just frantically looking for the little boy, and nobody could find him,’ said neighbor Morgan Sosebee. Firefighters later found Layden’s lying dead underneath a bed in the property.

An autopsy on the youngster’s body was scheduled to be carried out on Tuesday, WPXI reports.

However, Lt Johnson said that although the boy had several heat burns, he did not appear to have had direct contact with the fire, leading officials to believe he passed away of smoke inhalation.

Photos of the house, captured by local media, shows its front door and windows charred black.

On Tuesday, a makeshift memorial was erected on the house’s front steps, with toys and crosses.

The family, whose youngest child is only three weeks old, reportedly had no insurance when their home caught fire. They are now living with Miss Smith’s mother in a two-bedroom apartment.

Mr Thomas is apparently on disability benefits, while Miss Smith works at Chipotle.

A vigil for Layden is being held outside his family’s home at 8pm on Wednesday.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help his parents pay for his funeral costs.

So far, nearly $2,000 has been raised of the $10,000 target.

Officials are investigating the blaze.

Source: The DailyMail

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