LEANDER, Texas - A seven month old boy is dead and five of his family members were taken to hospitals after a mobile home fire in Leander. Investigators believe a space heater is to blame for the fire that killed baby Ian Justus. The Williamson County Sheriff's Office says the boy's grandfather and parents were injured trying to rescue him.
"What was really going through my head is there are children in there," said Joe Jannarome who feared the worst when he woke up to sirens. "You could see flames. They were as high as the trees and there was popping noises," he added.
Leander firefighters got the call for help around 4:45 Monday morning. When they arrived they found thick smoke and heavy flames.
"It was pretty bad. The whole house was pretty much engulfed," said neighbor Stephen Wilkes who also saw the fire.
Amanda Garret, the mother, was taken to University Hospital in San Antonio along with her other son Patrick, 2. The father, Jerob Justus, was taken to Brook Army Medical Center in San Antonio. The grandfather, Danny Justus, was treated and released at Cedar Park Medical Center along with the couple's daughter, Eres, 6.
"I've seen the mom pushing the baby around in the stroller. This is so sad and brings tears to your eyes," said Wilkes.
What was supposed to keep the family warm likely caused the heart ache. Investigators with the State Fire Marshal's Office are assisting with the investigation. They plan to release a final determination once the investigation is complete.
Neighbors say they'll pull together to help the family heal.
"Pray for them I guess. If they need help then we will help," said Wilkes.
FOX 7 spoke with a family member and he asked for prayers from the community.
The Victims Assistance Unit with the Williamson County Sheriff's Office is trying to collect items for the family. They are looking for basic necessities like clothes and gift cards. Donations can be dropped off at the sheriff's office at 508 Rock St. in Georgetown.