State Investigates Daycare Fire

COLUMBUS, GA (WXTX) - Fox 54 is bringing you the latest details in a tragic story that has certainly captured this community's attention. It's a story we told you about Friday afternoon, when a fire broke out at a home daycare on Mill Branch Road.

Fire officials do not know the exact cause of the fire, but we're told it might have started near the carport where the laundry room was.

One adult suffered smoke inhalation and was treated and released from the Medical Center.

Four children sustained burns and other injuries from the fire, and this weekend one of those children passed away. We spoke to the young boy's family as they cope with this unimaginable loss and search for answers.

Michael Dubard Sr. told Fox 54, "I've never faced this, I don't know how to do it. I love Mikey so much, that's my boy."

The parents of one year old Mikey Dubard Jr., who died in Friday's home daycare fire, are still searching for answers in the cause of their young son's death.

His mother, Dana Richardson said, "We do know that when Mikey was pulled from the house he was awake and looked up at the fireman. They put him in the ambulance, started working on him and then took him to the hospital."

The daycare director, Rochell Jefferson could not be reached for comment and Richardson says she has not reached out to the family since Mikey's death, "She told me she loved me, she told me she loved my baby and would never hurt him, but we feel they got out of the house and left the kids behind."

Mikey would have turned two years old on Tuesday, but now his family has to make different plans for their son.

"We went from birthday to funeral planning. I still don't know what went wrong in that house, what lead to him and that tragedy or him being that badly hurt," Dubard said.

Richardson added, "We're going to miss him. I know I'll meet up with him again one day but until that day comes, this heartache is going to be here."

The family tells us Mikey will be laid to rest at Green Acres Cemetery on Friday.

A memorial fund has been set up in his name at CB&T banks. The family says they do have funds to take care of his funeral arrangements and only want people to give if they are able.

The Columbus Fire Marshall says the investigation is still ongoing and an investigation is also being conducted by "Bright From the Start" -- the state of Georgia's Early Childcare Department.

Commissioner Dr. Holly A. Robinson released this official statement saying: "I am saddened by the horrific fire that has tragically claimed the life of a young child. Bright From the Start has launched an investigation into this tragic event and is working closely with local law enforcement and fire officials.

Once our investigation is complete, we will share the findings with the public. We express our sincerest condolences to the families."

Once more information on the cause of the fire becomes available, we will bring you the updates.