NORTH VERSAILLES (KDKA) — Allegheny County homicide detectives continue to investigate after an overnight fire in North Versailles claimed the life of a young boy and sent his little brother to the hospital.
Fire crews were called to the Eastland Apartments just before 3 a.m.
Police and firefighters went door to door inside the building to get the residents out.
“The North Versailles Fire Department and police were knocking on everyone’s door telling them there was a fire in the building,” said Alexis Young, a resident.
On the third floor, officials say crews came to an apartment that was dead bolted. Authorities report that they broke through the lock and found two children inside.
“The fire department arrived, made entry into the apartment. Inside the apartment, they found two children, one 6-year-old, one 4-year-old; by the time they found the 6-year-old, he had passed,” said Chief Vincent DiCenzo, of the North Versailles Police Department.
The Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s Office has identified the boy who died as KiDonn Pollard-Ford. He was going into the second grade at Green Valley Primary School.
“He was a great young man, straight-A student. It’s tough,” said Sean Gildea, the victim’s principal.
The boys apparently were left in the apartment home alone while their mother was out.
The 4-year-old was taken from building unresponsive, but emergency crews managed to revive him. He was taken to Children’s Hospital and is listed in critical condition.
Authorities were questioning the mother, but officials say she had to be medicated at the hospital due to hysterics. She has not been identified.
With daylight, Allegheny County arson investigators sifted through the burnt-out apartments.
“My police officers are, you know, they’re all fathers and, it’s bothering them,” said Chief DiCenzo. “The firemen, I know they have a crisis team coming in for the firemen that were in there that found the children. I’ve been doing this for almost 30 years, any time it involves a child, it’s not easy.”
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