AKRON, Ohio — An 8-year-old boy is dead and several others have been taken to local hospitals following a house fire in Akron's Kenmore neighborhood early Thursday morning.
Officials said flames were coming out of the home on the 2100 block of 11th Street Southwest when crews pulled out all five occupants. All were rushed from the scene via ambulance, but unfortunately, the child later passed away from his injuries.
The 8-year-old victim has been identified as David Johnson, a third grader at Leggett Community Learning Center. Akron Public Schools officials released a statement asking the community for prayers.
"David had been with us at Leggett since kindergarten," the message read. "He was such a sweet boy (and he loved wearing different hats to school.) We are so saddened by David's death and offer our love and support to his family in any way we can."
Neighbors told 3News that David had autism and was nonverbal. A spokesperson for APS confirmed he was in specialized classes at Leggett.
Johnson’s mother, grandfather and older brother remain hospitalized at this time. We’re told one adult is in serious condition, while the other adult and child remain stable. An Akron firefighter was treated for minor injuries at the burn unit of Akron Children’s Hospital.
Lt. Sierjie Lash with the Akron Fire Department says the residents admitted to using a wood burning stove to heat the home, but it’s not clear yet if that contributed to the fire. The cause remains under investigation.
Akron Public Schools grief counselors are currently working with students and staff.
Neighbors have set up a GoFundMe account to help with the family's immediate needs. Click here for more.
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