Church Hill neighbors heartbroken over toddler’s death

Posted at 7:29 PM, Jun 30, 2013

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) -- Richmond Police said the 18-month-old boy who was severely burned in a house fire Tuesday has died.

Fire crews were called to N 30th Street for the fire just after 7:30 a.m. The child's mother, who was severely burned, was on the roof of their house yelling for help, according to fire officials. Both mother and son were taken to VCU Medical Center.

A spokesperson with the Fire Department said the room they pulled the boy from was burning when firefighters entered the home.

Residents of the small block of N 30th street tell CBS 6 they are heartbroken by the child's death.

"I'm speechless, you know, very shocked," said Monika Harkless, who is friends with the child's mother.

Multiple neighbors said the woman had been behaving erratically in the day prior to the fire. The woman was also severely burned in the fire.

Harkless has a 16-year-old daughter, so she said the pain of losing a child would be unbearable.

"She might not ever get her life back because that was a baby," said Harkless when asked about her friend.  "That was her child. That was a gift."

Richmond police and fire investigators are continuing to look into the incident.  A spokesperson for RPD said they expect to release more information about this case Monday, but did not have specific details.