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Child killed, mother hospitalized after Tallahassee apartment fire

TFD investigating fire that killed small child
Posted at 3:55 PM, Feb 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-07 08:32:42-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL)- Investigations are still underway for an early morning fire.

The Tallahassee Fire Department and the State of Florida Fire Marshall are currently investigating a fire reported just after 12 a.m. Wednesday morning in the Rockbrook Garden Apartments.

A small child succumbed to injuries from the flame. Neighbors say they placed calls for emergency assistance when they saw smoke coming from the rear of the apartment building.

A maintenance employee entered the apartment to assist tenants with escape until firefighters arrived on scene. TFD officials say they were on scene within three minutes of the call, and began an aggressive battle to rescue those inside. 

"We come to work everyday with the understanding of we're here to save lives. And this is tough on not only the family members, who we want to express our condolences for the lost child," said TFD Deputy Chief Richard Jones. "And we know they are going through a very hard time, so we wanted to express that to the family." 

Neighbors said they saw smoke coming from the rear of the apartment building. They banged on doors until they found someone brave enough to face the flames. 

"My father, the maintenance man in the complex was here trying to save the kids from smoke inhalation," said neighbor Keyanna Neally. 

Witnesses say they saw Keith Neally run into the building and rescue the mother. They say he pulled her outside and rolled her in the grass to put out the fire on her clothing. 

Family members say they are still in shock.

The child's mother was transported to Shands hospital, where she is still in intensive care.