Child Dies in Fatal House Fire

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A pile of ash and burnt wood is all that remains of the Hill’s family home after a house fire took everything, including the life an autistic 15-year-old named T.J. “It was sad. I mean the light pole, the meter, everything is gone,” said Sharron Rickman. Rickman is T.J.’s step-grandmother. She said her daughter, Amy, T.J.’s step-mother, did everything she could to try and save him. “They got outside and she heard T.J. hollering, ‘momma’,” explained Rickman. Amy went back to get T.J., according to Rickman, burning her fingers on the hot doorknob as she re-entered the burning house. “She got the door open and she got in there. The smoke was so thick that it was taking her breath. By then he done quit [hollering],” Rickman said. Rickman said her daughter suffered severe smoke inhalation and is being held at The Med in Memphis. She said Terry, Amy’s husband is also in Memphis with their 11-month-old girl, who only suffered from some scratches to her head. “They threw her out the window,” Rickman said. According to Rickman, her daughter’s family did not have insurance and they will have to rebuild their lives one day at a time. As of Friday evening, investigators were not available to comment on the house fire. However, T.J.’s father, Terry said their power went out just before the fire began. He believes a lightning strike may have ignited the blaze.

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