VIRGINIA

Six-month-old baby dies in Stafford County house fire

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STAFFORD COUNTY, VA. (WJLA) - Ash and rubble are all that is left of a two-story home in Stafford County.

The home, located in the the Kings Grant Subdivision in the Hartwood District, burst into flames Monday afternoon. Investigators said the fire started near the front of the home, and was ruled unintentional.

Neighbors of the large family who lived in the home said the mother was able to get her other children out safely, but ran out of time to get to the baby girl, Eleanor Avery, as the flames grew too intense, too quickly.

"A 6-month-old baby died. It's terrible," said witness Luis Sierra. "I don't know what to say...it's sad."

Neighbors say a fire was going in the fireplace. Somehow, the fire ignited the area around it.

Neighbors and witnesses said they saw the mother race outside to get a hose, but the flames moved faster. When she tried to get into the house again, the fire forced her back. It consumed the house, then spread rapidly across the ground and through brush in the direction of other homes.

Firefighters were able to douse the flames just in time before neighbors' homes were burned.

"If it had taken off and it had been windy...and you look at all the trees...you know, they're still fairly dry," said concerned neighbor Matt Wodjak.

When firefighters finally got the fire out, the house was gone.

They said the found the 6-month-old baby in the debris.

"For about six hours we saw those guys fighting the fire," said neighbor Sierra. "It's sad. I hope the family finds some comfort somehow."

Damage to the home is estimated to be around $650,000.

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