Young boy dies in West Price Hill fire - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Young boy dies in West Price Hill fire

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Fire investigators are looking for the cause of Monday's fire which claimed the life of a 4-year-old boy.

The fire broke out in the basement of a small home in the 4700 block Green Glen Lane Monday afternoon. 

Firefighters moved in quickly, knocked down the fire, and searched the house.  By the time they got to Noah Kemplin, it was too late.

A neighbor, 18-year-old James Taylor, said he could hear the boy crying from the street.

"I heard him screaming," Taylor said. "I couldn't find him though, I didn't know exactly where he was."

Taylor said he saw a gas can, like the kind you might use to fill your lawnmower with, on-fire inside the garage and blocking the door into the basement.

"And then there's another door toward the back of the garage so I tried that one but it was too smoky and dark and I couldn't see anything and then I started having trouble breathing," Taylor said. "So I had to get out."

He saw a garden hose on the neighbor's house.

"And I grabbed it and tried to put the fire out but it wasn't enough."

The gas can never exploded, but the siding on the house began to melt down on top of him.

"The front part of the garage started falling down while I was trying to use the hose," he said.

There was at least one adult in the home at the time.  No one else was seriously hurt.  A few people were taken to the hospital and were treated for smoke inhalation but are expected to be okay.  

Cincinnati Fire Captain Mike Washington said every fire is tough.

"Emotional," he said. "Yes."

But as a father of three, Washington said this one hit home for many of his firefighters, who are also parents.

"People act strangely when there's a fire so, it's an unfortunate thing but we encourage the public, any time that there is a fire, to leave the house immediately and call 911," Washington said.

Washington also said part of their investigation, is to figure out if there was any type of warning system in-place, like a smoke detector or a fire alarm and whether it was operational.

The boy's grandfather, Quincy Kemplin, said the family had been mowing the lawn all afternoon. Kemplin said he thinks the boy may have gotten hold of the gas cans just used to cut the lawn.

Kemplin explained tearfully how he tried to get into the burning basement.

"And I couldn't see a thing and I yelled for him, 'Could you hear him?' I heard him one time, and then I kept yelling and I could not hear him again," Kemplin said. "Please put your gas cans up where your kids can not get to them, because you never know what'll happen. I love my grandson and my family and we all need your prayers right now thank you."

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