23-month-old dead in Gallatin Co. fire

GALLATIN COUNTY, KY (FOX19) - Authorities say that a 23-month-old boy is dead following a fire in Gallatin County.

The fire broke out around 3 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon in the 1800 block of Roberts Road.

Authorities say that a mother became aware of the fire after hearing noises in a bedroom.

"When we arrived, the residence was completely involved with flames. We tried to make entry into the back door but it was too hot," explains Sheriff Josh Neale.

Firefighters say that the mother and a 3-year-old child were able to escape the blaze through a back window. However, while evacuating the home, the mother states she was unable to reach the 23-month-old toddler.

Sheriff Neale says that toddler was in his bedroom, asleep in his crib.

"She never made it to the bedroom because the fire started somewhere in the hallway that led down to his room," explains Neale.  

Sheriff Josh Neale and a deputy were among the first on scene. They tried to get inside to get the family out. For Neale, Tuesday's fire was especially difficult.

"I've known this family ever since these children were born. I know the mom, the dad, the grandparents. I've known them for a very long time. It makes it extremely hard," says Neale.

Neighbors feel the same way.

"It's a shame. I'm broken. I was screaming when I found out they couldn't get the boy," says one neighbor, wishing to stay anonymous.

That neighbor has lived nearby the scene for five years. She says it's a tight knit community in that part of Roberts Road. It's a community that's now shaken.

"Right now we're broken in two," she adds.

A cause has not yet been determined.

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