One-year-old who died in daycare fire was strapped, upside down in car seat

Posted at 7:45 PM, Oct 24, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-24 19:45:52-04

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- It's a tragedy that has touched the hearts of many in the Chesterfield community and beyond after a one-year-old boy died after the in-home daycare he attended caught fire.

Now a recently released fire report gives a heart wrenching account of how firefighters fought heavy smoke and flames and zero visibility on the second floor of the Valerie court home.

During an initial, search crews did not see little Joseph Allen after firefighters said the owner told them all children were accounted for.

The report reveals that when visibility upstairs improved, a second search discovered little Joseph in a car seat carrier that was upside down.

The boy was strapped in and firefighters quickly raced him to the front yard to give him aid before transporting him to St. Francis Medical Center.

Minutes after that crews went back inside thinking two more children were unaccounted for, but they found none.

They later learned instead of ten children only eight had shown up to the daycare that day.

The report also shows the battery run smoke detector in the home did not alert anyone because the battery was either missing or disconnected.

Todd Stone, a legal analyst for CBS 6 News, said that while no charges have been filed in this case, these new revelations are significant enough for a prosecutor to consider.

"A child strapped in a car seat, a nonworking smoke detector and her statement that implies she was unaware of the number of children present are all factors that could push prosecutors closer to criminal charges," Stone said.