Child dies in Muncie fire

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Firefighters confirm a three-year-old child is dead after an early morning fire in Muncie.  

The Muncie Fire Department responded to the house fire shortly after 9 am Thursday in the 1700 block of Daly Avenue.  Arriving firefighters could see smoke from a dozen blocks away.

Firefighters rescued three other people from the house. While authorities have not yet released the victim's name, family members say it is three-year-old Clayton Wooten. The child's mother, Katherine Wooten, her boyfriend, and 14-month- old boy managed to escape, but Clayton was trapped in the living room.

Muncie Fire Department Battalion Chief Jim Clevenger explained, "This is a small house that was fully involved with flames visible on three sides. There was a lot of fire. We got here quickly and the guys pushed into the building quickly. This fire was not survivable."

With flames shooting 30 feet into the air, neighbors describe a horrible sight.

"She kept screaming her baby was inside and was approaching the house and the policeman was holding her back. The house was in flames," said Tracy Hardy, a neighbor.

Neighbors often saw the children playing and running around the yard. The oldest child loved riding his bike.

"I’m just so sad. The tragic loss of life; a child, it breaks my heart," said Katrina Stafford, a neighbor.

The Muncie fire and police departments, coroner and state fire marshal's office are investigating.

"We are going to put everything out there we possibly can to make sure we have a cause and origin of this fire," said Muncie Fire Chief Eddie Bell.