9-year-old boy dies in Statesville house fire

Lareik Ramseur (WSOC)

Lareik Ramseur (WSOC)

STATESVILLE, N.C. — Officials say a 9-year-old boy died in a house fire Sunday morning in Statesville.

WSOC reported that Lareik Ramseur died after being trapped inside the home on Brevard Street just after 1:00 a.m. His older sister and neighbors reportedly tried to save him.

“I am very broken, just so heartbroken,” said Lareik Ramseur’s grandfather, Ray Ramseur, according to WSOC. “He never met a stranger.”

Firefighters said the fire started on the first floor. Officials said they could see a small white candle burning earlier in the evening.

Witnesses said the victim’s 12-year-old sister Rae-Neisha jumped out of the second story window to safety, and she called for her brother to follow, but he never did.

Family members told WSOC that Lareik suffered from asthma and other breathing problems.

Statesville firefighters said the cause of the fire is under investigation.

Lareik Ramseur was a fourth grader at Cloverleaf Elementary. His family described him as a die-hard Pittsburgh Steelers fan who loved to draw and paint at school.

His funeral arrangements have not been finalized.

Read more: WSOC.