Empire Neighborhood Devastated by Boy’s Death in Apartment Fire

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EMPIRE -- A scorched apartment, boarded up windows, all heartbreaking reminders of the tragedy that took place at an apartment on South Abbie Street in Empire, Sunday afternoon, a loss for friends and neighbors that’s hard to bare.

“The only thing I could hear her say was, ‘Please just get my kid. Please grab my kid,’” Jasmine Oliver, a family friend recalled.

“He was smart, he was brilliant, and it was sad that that happened,” Gerald Preston, a neighbor who tried to help told FOX40.

“Just think about him. That’s all. When I see that I think about Tim,” Sharon Barnett, another neighbor said.

A fire ripped through an apartment, leaving 10-year-old Timothy Hall trapped. Oliver said she was visiting at the time.

“Flames just coming straight out of her front window,” she said.

She told us she and others tried everything they could to save the boy.

“We went back there with a few of our friends and we broke every single window trying to get Timmy out,” Oliver said.

The fire, smoke and heat blocked their efforts. About an hour after the boy was removed from the fire and fire fighters attempted CPR, he died.

Two days later, friends are still reeling from the loss. A rambunctious, curious, playful child who will be missed.

“What he may have done to change the world? Because these young people that’s what they can do for us, they can change the world,” Preston said.

Fire investigators have not said what caused the fire. Hall was a 4th grader at Capistrano Elementary, where educators said grief counselors will be on hand to help students, faculty and family through this difficult time.