9-month-old baby girl dies after fire engulfs a Wise County home

APPALACHIA, Va.UPDATE (June 7, 2021)

A family is grieving after a house fire took the life of their baby in Wise County Monday morning.

Family members identified the baby girl as 9-month-old Harper Marie Davidson, whose remains were found inside a burnt Appalachia home after it caught fire.

Authorities said the baby’s mother, 30-year-old Heather Davidson, and her 4-year-old brother, Mikey Davidson, were in the house with her at the time of the fire and were able to escape the burning house.

Harper’s paternal grandmother, Rachel Davidson, said their family is devastated.

“I can’t eat, I can’t sleep. We’re having a real hard time,” Rachel told WCYB.

Rachel said her daughter-in-law, Heather, did her best to save Harper from the fire.

“She couldn’t see. She tried to crawl her way to the baby, couldn’t get to the baby. It burned her. She’s got second-degree burns all over it scorched and burnt her hair,” she said.

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According to Rachel, her daughter-in-law started choking on the smoke and went out with Mikey to go get help.

“To make matters even worse, emergency services were delayed because the phone and power lines were down, as you can see behind me, and the closest cell phone services is a few minute walk away,” Rachel said.

She said that the house was already engulfed in flames by the time fire crews arrived.

Virginia State Police are investigating the origin of the fire and said they do not suspect foul play.

“I know people’s gonna make comments about why she didn’t get that baby. She tried to get that baby!” Rachel cried. “If you have children, you need to wrap your arms around them and thank God you have them because they can be here today and gone tomorrow.”

Rachel started a GoFundMe page to help her family rebuild their lives. She asks that community members donate anything they can, including clothes and food.

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Click here to donate to the family.


ORIGINAL STORY

Virginia State Police are investigating a house fire that killed an infant in the Town of Appalachia Monday morning.

At about 6:09 a.m., the Town of Appalachia Fire Department responded to a fire in the 1300 block of Lower Exeter Road.

Police said a 30-year-old woman and a 3-year-old boy were able to escape the burning house, but once the fire was extinguished, firefighters found the remains of an 8-month-old baby girl inside.

Her remains were transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Center in Roanoke for examination and autopsy, according to authorities.

The woman was transported to Lonesome Pine Hospital for injuries she sustained in the fire but has since been released.

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Police said the origin and cause of the fire remain under investigation but said the fire does not appear to be suspicious at this time.

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