Man recalls saving kids, but being unable to rescue baby from burning SC home

Around the South

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – It was a day neighbors on Arch Street in Spartanburg said was devastating.

Fire crews found an 18-month-old dead inside a home after flames tore through the house Friday morning. She’s been identified by the coroner as Lalia Cartee.

“I ran back in there six or seven times and he said, ‘you can’t find her bro, you won’t be able to find her’,” said neighbor Darrius Carson.

“The entire front porch had fire from the roof down to the front door,” said Spartanburg Assistant Fire Chief, Brad Hall.

Carson had a front seat to it all. He told WSPA, he was walking to his car when he heard yelling and saw smoke across the street.

“She ran out and said ‘call the ambulance, the house is on fire’,” Carson said.

That’s when he was told there were children inside the home.

“I ran up the steps, I met the oldest one at the door and she was like, ‘please go in there and get my brother and sister’,” said Carson.

From there, Carson said he grabbed two children bringing them outside and returned multiple times in attempts to find a baby he was told, was still inside.

“I bust down the door, I couldn’t see through the smoke and called her name. I went through the back door and looked in each corner because if you’re scared, you go to the corner,” Carson explained.

However, he and his friends couldn’t find the toddler, Lalia Cartee.

“Everybody saying, you got two kids out but there was one left for me. That messed me up pretty hard,” Carson told WSPA.

It all hits especially close to home for Carson since his baby girl shares the same name as the victim.

“When I got to the middle door, there was just too much fire for me. I tried to save her especially when she told me her baby’s name, that’s my child’s name,” said Carson.

As for what caused the devastation on Arch Street, fire crews said they are still investigating that.

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