B12-year-old-boy charged in deadly house fire - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

12-year-old-boy charged in deadly house fire

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An 8-year-old boy has died in a house fire on the 1300 block of Kingsvalley in Granite Shoals. And a 12-year-old boy is charged with arson.

Neighbors say they were brothers.

Robert Lemaster is a father of three. Wednesday morning at about 10 a.m., he heard an explosion.

"It rattled my windows so it was pretty loud and I mean I've got neighbors that a couple of blocks away heard it," Lemaster said.

Lemaster saw black smoke coming from next door.

"My neighbor here, she had a hose on the house and as I was jumping the fence to help I heard somebody hollering from inside," Lemaster said.

So he ran into the house and found an elderly lady clinging to a cell phone and a small dog. She wasn't able to walk on her own. Lemaster says she usually uses an oxygen tank.

"I did what anybody would do, just run in and grabbed her and pulled her out back to the shed a little ways from the house and I tried to go back in but I couldn't. After she told me where the kids were, I couldn't...I couldn't make it back there," Lemaster said.

Unfortunately an 8-year-old boy that was still inside did not make it out alive. Officers say some of the family dogs didn't either.

Granite Shoals Chief of Police J.P. Wilson says he and many of his officers knew the homeowners.

"This really hit close to home, being that the victims were relatives of our city employees. Being a small agency, we're all part of a team out here. I have to once again thank Mr. Lemaster and especially the fire department and our neighboring departments," Wilson said.

Wilson says they believe the 12-year-old boy who was also in the house started the fire and relatives say he drove off in a car.

"The 12-year-old individual that started this fire is in custody and is being charged with arson causing bodily injury and or death," Wilson said.

Elmus Alexander says he is related to the boys.

"It's something that you can't believe. You know, a 12-year-old kid doing something like that, I can't believe it. I'm still in shock about it so I don't know what else to say," Alexander said.

Meanwhile, Granite Shoals Police are saying Robert Lemaster is a hero but he doesn't see it that way.

"I've got a family and you know, I just lost my grandmother not too long ago so I know what it is to lose somebody and I just...I just couldn't NOT do anything," Lemaster said.

As far as the explosion, some of the family members we spoke with believe it was an oxygen tank that exploded.

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