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Fire Takes Away Life of 3 Year-Old Boy as His 19-Year-Old Baby Sitter Goes out Shopping

Odette Odendaal
Mar 12, 2019
09:46 A.M.
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A tragic scene unfolded overnight when a fire broke out at an apartment building in Houston, Texas.

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According to authorities, the fire started around 1:30 am on the third floor of an apartment building in southwest Harris County on Sierra Blanca Drive close to Presidio Square Boulevard.

Confined to the apartment of the Lyles family, the blaze began on the stovetop in the kitchen. When firefighters arrived, there were two people inside the apartment, Giovanni Lyles and his babysitter, a 19-year-old relative.

The babysitter told authorities that she left the apartment to go to the store and left Giovanni at home; upon her return, she saw smoke billowing from the unit.

Giovanni got rushed to Texas Children’s Hospital West, and his mother notified, who was working at the time. Sadly the 3-year-old got pronounced dead at the hospital due to severe smoke inhalation.

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The boy’s babysitting relative went to Ben Taub Hospital for smoke inhalation treatment. For first responders like firefighters, these situations are emotionally hard, as Rachel Moreno from the Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office said:

"Anytime we go to a fire, and there is a fatality, it's absolutely horrific, and it's hard to deal with, especially when there's a child involved. We're talking about 2 and a half years old. It's still a baby."

When firefighters arrived, they could see the smoke detectors inside, but no smoke alarms went off. They were able to put out the fire with only two water cans, according to authorities.

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How the fire started, to begin with, is still undetermined but authorities hope to find out exactly what happened so they can “educate people and prevent this in the future.” A family friend, Tobi Omole spoke out after the incident and added:

“She rushed to do CPR on the child; he didn’t come back. (His mother) is very distraught, she’s going through a lot, but she’ll be alright. (Giovanni) was a cute, playful child, he always ran around, he always laughed.”

Similarly, another babysitter forgot about the grave responsibility she had towards another defenseless life, but with the help of a good samaritan, tragedy got averted.

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The 18-month-old girl got spotted wandering around the streets by Del Hedrick when he dropped someone off in the Roseland neighborhood in Santa Rosa around 10:30 pm on February 12.

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The little girl was barefoot, and there was a storm raging while she wandered the street without any proper warm clothing on. Del immediately took the girl and waited with her in his vehicle until police arrived.

It took some doing to locate the family, but once they did, it turned out that the babysitter never even knew the 18-month-old girl was gone.

Accidents can happen so quickly, and we have a responsibility towards the children of this world to ensure they are as safe as possible.

In January a mother from Tennessee wanted to share her story after her 17-month-old twins drowned in their babysitter’s pool.

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