Candle blamed for house fire that killed 8-year-old boy in east Charlotte

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Fire officials say "an unattended candle" caused a house fire in east Charlotte that killed a 8-year-old boy and injured several others early Wednesday morning. A total of five children and two adults had been transported to the hospital following the overnight fire. 

The fire broke out around 12:40 a.m. at a home located in the 1900 block of Academy Street. 

"Breaks my heart for the mother and father and the siblings. It tore me up. I was in tears out here with them," said Deborah Schaeffer who lives across the street. She was one of the neighbors who called 911.

Schaeffer says she ran out of her house to help the family.

"There was one little boy - makes me want to cry - he was laying on the ground and he was burnt. I couldn't touch him. I couldn't do anything to help him until the ambulance got here. It was heart wrenching."

A total of eight ambulances responded to the scene, along with a number of fire trucks within three minutes of the placed 911 call. 

There were a total of 10 people in the house, according to Charlotte Fire. Four of them had to be rescued and resuscitated, according to firefighters. 

According to CMPD, an 8-year-old boy that was inside the home was pronounced dead at Presbyterian Hospital after he succumbed to severe burn injuries. The official cause of death will be released by the Medical Examiner in the coming days and/or weeks. 

Four other children and two adults were rushed to the hospital with severe burns and smoke inhalation, according to Charlotte Fire Department.

Charlotte Fire said a total of ten people were inside the home when the fire began. Seven of those ten were reported injured. Three people were able to get out and are with family, fire officials said. 

According to the Charlotte Fire Department, the cause of the house fire has been determined to be accidental related to an unattended candle(s). About $120,000 property loss has been reported including an adjacent house with damaged siding, fire officials said. 

At this time, it's unclear if smoke detectors were working inside the home.