Update: Child dies following home daycare fire

UPDATE:  Muscogee County Coroner Bill Thrower has confirmed to WTVM a one year old boy named Michael Duvard, Jr. has died due to injuries from yesterday's fire at the daycare on Mill Branch Road.

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - "I saw all that smoke up there and I said, oh my god that's the daycare!"

Mittie McGhee says she was first on the scene of a fire at a home daycare a few doors down from her East Columbus home Friday afternoon. She says the sounds coming from the burning house are something she'll never forget.

"You talk about screaming, oh my goodness those children were screaming and I just went to pieces. It was so sad," McGhee told News Leader 9.

Mittie got one child out of harms way and other neighbors like Alfonso Charriez plunged into the house to rescue more. But there was too much smoke to see anything.

Columbus Fire and EMS officials say there were two adults and nine children in the house on Mill Branch Road when the flames broke out. Officials say the adults did what they could to get the kids out but the flames and smoke didn't let them.

On the scanners, 911 dispatchers called for several ambulances including one for a child between the ages of 2 and 4 with burns to 80% of its body.

"We have transported four young children to the hospital. Three have been air-lifted to burn centers. At this time, we're still in the process of investigating, trying to find out what happened," said Columbus Fire and EMS Deputy Chief Jerry Fountain.

Frantic parents rushed to the scene and clutched their children who made it out of the daycare safely- moms like Tamara Lindsey whose 9-month-old son Kevin one of the lucky ones.

Another child safe and sound, according to officials, is a tot firefighters found in the rubble an hour after they got the flames out.

"I am praying for all of them to take care and for them to have strength," McGhee said of the tiny survivors.

Columbus Fire officials are still investigating what caused the fire.

Their investigation is expected to continue through the weekend and into next week.

At this point, officials say there are no fatalities.

WTVM is still waiting for word on patient conditions and the extent of the children's injuries and of course, we'll continue to bring you the very latest.

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