‘He was so precious’: 11-month-old boy dies in Bradenton apartment fire

Manatee County

MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – An 11-month-old boy has died after deputies say family members were unable to get the infant out from a burning apartment.

According to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, deputies were responding to another call when they heard screaming around 1:30 a.m. Thursday on 9th Street E. in Bradenton.

When deputies arrived, they found a building on fire and learned that the 11-month-old boy was unaccounted for.

Courtesy of Lazier Bennett’s family

The sheriff’s office says deputies immediately ran into the burning building and got to the top of the stairs where they saw that the second floor was completely engulfed in flames and the roof was starting to collapse. 

Officials say deputies coordinated an evacuation route for the remaining families within the quadplex residence. 

Firefighters were able to extinguish the fire and found the infant dead on the second floor, according to deputies.

Based on interviews, the sheriff’s office says a 14-year-old girl woke up to find the upstairs apartment she was staying in on fire. Seven people, including two children, managed to get out of the burning apartment but weren’t able to get the 11-month-old boy.

Deputies say one family member suffered burns while trying to go back into the building to find the child.     

The state fire marshal is still investigating how the fire started. MCSO detectives are conducting a death investigation. An autopsy is scheduled for later Thursday.

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