CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A child playing with matches in a basement bedroom started a fire early Monday that killed a 2-year-old girl and injured her 4-year-old brother, authorities said.
The boy told firefighters that the girl was the one playing with matches when a chair caught fire around 1:20 a.m., hours after the two had been put to bed in their grandmother's home, firefighter Dave Erwin said.
The boy said he tried to put out the flames before running upstairs. He didn't say why his sister didn't come with him, Erwin said.
"It's just a tragic situation," Erwin said.
Four adults escaped with the boy, and Erwin said all five suffered smoke inhalation.
"There would have been too much heat for someone to go down the steps" to get the girl, he said.
The little girl, Marianna Hodge, was pronounced dead at a Charleston hospital. Her brother, Jaylen Hodge, was being treated and was expected to be released later in the day.