CPS temporarily overseeing brothers involved in Groves house fire

Published 9:21 am Monday, May 21, 2018

GROVES — Two brothers, including one who is physically handicapped, left home alone the night a fire broke out at their home are now in temporary custody of Texas Child Protective Services.

Shari Pulliam, media specialist for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, confirmed they have taken temporary oversight of an 11-year-old boy and his 12-year-old physically handicapped brother.

The call for the house fire came in around 10:15 p.m. Wednesday in the 3200 block of Allison Avenue. When firefighters arrived the home’s garage, attic and roof were fully engulfed.

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The 11-year-old brother provided emergency crews with information and told them that his brother was still in the house.

Groves Fire Chief Dale Jackson said the 11-year-old gave information to a police officer who responded and was able to tell him where his brother was in the house.

“The fire was pretty intense when we got there,” Jackson said. “It’s critical for us to get in there as quick as we could to get him out of that atmosphere. At they time we didn’t know if he was alive or had succumbed but we base all rescues as if the person is still alive.”

The 12-year-old was in a rear bedroom and it was difficult for firefighters to locate him due to the heavy smoke. Jackson said they could hear him making noises and were eventually able to find exactly where he was.

Firefighter Josh Hildago grabbed the boy and handed him off to firefighter Darron Marsh, who carried him out of the fire.

He was taken to a local hospital, then transferred to a Shriners Hospital and was expected to make a full recovery.

Pulliam said he could not speak about specifics of the case but did say the children reside in the home with their mother and stepfather and that the children were alone the night of the fire.

“Texas law does not say what age a child can be left at home alone; however, adequate supervision is critical in keeping children safe,” Pulliam said. “An adult caregiver is accountable for the child’s care and inadequate supervision can be a type of neglectful supervision.”

Groves Police Department is investigating.

Pulliam praised firefighters who saved the child’s life.