Child Dies In House Fire In West Columbus

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Neighbors have set up a makeshift memorial at a West Columbus house where a baby girl was killed Sunday afternoon.

Firefighters rushed to the house on Wayne Avenue with a report of a child trapped inside by flames and smoke around 12:30 p.m.

Columbus Fire Department Battalion Chief Doug Belcher said crews were sent into the house to find the child, but heavy smoke and fire hampered their efforts and the 1-month-old girl died.

Before firefighters arrived, neighbors tried to come to the rescue.

Charles Jackson says the commotion out on the street woke him up.

Aron Alexander said he was heading out to get some breakfast. 

"As I came out the door, I hear him hollering, I see Darrell stumbling outside the house, and saw smoke in the upstairs of the house," said Alexander.

Alexander said before he could think, he was moving, knowing he had to help.  

"So I ran across, she's yelling at me to get her baby, I ran up the stairs, dropped on the floor and tried to reach around the corner and there was just too much smoke, and I had to come back down."

Alexander said he and Jackson did not give up.  

They ran and got a ladder, climbed on the back roof and knocked the glass out of the windows, as another possible way inside.

"But it was too much smoke and we couldn't do no more," Jackson said.

By that time, firefighters had arrived on the scene, and were able to put out the flames in about three minutes.

Both said they did not think about their own safety, but knew they had to do something and wish they could have saved the baby's life.

"I think that's the human thing to do. Jump in and help your neighbors, no matter if you know them or not, everybody needs help at times" said Jackson.

Both parents were taken to the OSU Wexner Medical Center for treatment.

The Columbus Dispatch reports a neighbor identified the baby as Catherine Neese and the father as Darrell Neese.

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