Fire kills twin toddlers

September 15th, 2011 by Staff

www.wtsp.com – Brandon, Florida –   There are a lot of tears Thursday as neighbors woke up to learn two little boys died after the home they were sleeping in caught fire.

Hillsborough County firefighters were called to 101 Foxwood Drive just after midnight, when the homeowner –and the toddlers’ aunt — woke up to find her house full of smoke.

52-year-old Linda Morgan and her fiance managed to get out of the home and call 911, but they had no idea the boys were still inside.

The initial feeling of relief that they got out alive turned to horror when firefighters went inside.

“The fire personnel brought the babies out and that’s when we realized that they had found somebody and that’s when they [toddlers' aunt] knew for the first time the babies were in the house,” said neighbor, Maxine Cockerill who woke up to see flames shooting from the roof the home.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office says the boys’ mother, 19-year-old Jayme Sims, dropped off 2-year-olds Rishaw and Richie Edwards at the home and put them to sleep at some point Wednesday night, but never woke up Morgan to let her know the boys were there before she left.

Investigators say the mother would often stay at the home with her sons, but did not live there.

Rishaw and Richie were taken to the hospital, where they were pronounced dead.

Mike McGee, who lives across the street, had gone back to sleep after the toddlers were taken to the hospital, not realizing they had passed away.

There were tears as he and another neighbor learned of the children’s fates.

“It’s a sad thing, you just do what you can to  help your neighbors, be there for them,” said McGee.

The Fire Marshal tells 10 News the fire appears to have started in a back bedroom in the home, but not the same room where the boys were sleeping.

The cause is still under investigation, but we are told it does not appear to be suspicious.


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