Seven-year-old dies in Mulberry house fire

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A small community is mourning the loss of one of their own Saturday night after a house fire killed a seven-year-old boy. The fire happened in Mulberry where family and neighbors are in shock struggling to understand what happened.

"It's a tragedy for sure. I just can't even think right now," said Billie Littleton.

Billie is struggling to wrap her mind around how her seven-year-old nephew, Noaha Vaughn-Linderer, was here one day and gone the next--killed in a fire here in his home.

"He was autistic--special needs and just brightened everyone's day," said Billie.

Billie's sister lived here with her husband, her 16-year-old son and little Noaha. But, firefighters say early Saturday morning, smoke detectors woke the family to a horrific sight.

"We found where three sides of the house and the upstairs window was flames and heavy black smoke rolling out of it," said Chief Ron Kaser, Madison Township Volunteer Fire Department.

The mother, father and teenage son made it out alive. But, Noah was trapped inside--upstairs--and firefighters say he was trying to get out.

"We tried everything we could. We tried windows from the outside going in that way. We busted the window and the smoke was so thick we couldn't see six inches in front of us," said Chief Kaser.

It was the assistant Asst. Chief Tom Smith and Chief Ron Kaser's adult sons-- who have young children of their own, who made the desperate attempts.

"They did everything they could...the flames were at their back shoving them off to the side," said Asst. Chief Tom Smith.

Fire deaths are few and far between in this community. Local firefighters tell us this is the first in 15 years and the fact that it was a child is a particularly crushing blow to those who tried to save him.

"Right now, they're both really suffering because they couldn't do nothing. You win some and once in a while you lose one and you don't like it," said Smith.

And now this entire town is pulling together to support a family in need of so much.

"Some people can't catch a break sometimes and they really need all the help they can get. They lost their clothing and all of their belongings in that fire. Now, everything is gone," said Billie.

As they figure out how to move on.

Noaha's mother, father and brother were admitted to the hospital for smoke inhalation.