AKRON, Ohio — An 8-year-old boy was killed in a house fire in Akron on Thursday morning, officials confirmed.
The fire happened at about 4:30 a.m. in the 2100 block of 11th Street, officials said.
When Akron fire crews responded to the single-family home, they saw flames showing and residents trying to escape from the upstairs of the residence, a release from the Akron Fire Department states.
"Came out this window right here," neighbor Brian Oxley said as he pointed to an upstairs window. "[The flames] were probably about four feet high. It looked pretty big."
Firefighters were able to reach all the occupants, and medics transported four residents from the house and an injured firefighter to area hospitals.
An 8-year-old boy, later identified by the medical examiner as David Johnson, died at the hospital as a result of his injuries, Akron fire officials said.
"He was a sweet autistic boy, his mother Rhiannon Crim said. "He let you know what he wanted even though he was nonverbal. He was always smiling, laughing and vocalizing. He was very energetic and got into lots of mischief. He loved being with his older brothers Nick and Allan."
A spokesperson with Akron Public Schools confirmed to News 5 that Johnson had been a student at Leggett Community Learning Center.
"Our hearts are heavy today over the passing of David Johnson," principal Gregory Blondheim said. “David had been with us at Leggett since kindergarten. He was such a sweet boy (and he loved wearing different hats to school.)"
The school district is offering grief counselors to students and staff.
"We are so saddened by David's death and offer our love and support to his family in any way we can," Blondheim added. "Please join us in praying for this family."
Neighbor Penny Abel told News 5 neighbors are working to collect belongings and whatever else is needed for the family.
"There’s a whole community that’s mourning with this family and we would like to do whatever we can to help them," she said.
A GoFundMe has been set up by Abel to help assist the David Johnson's family. To donate, click here.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
Download the News 5 Cleveland app now for more stories from us, plus alerts on major news, the latest weather forecast, traffic information and much more. Download now on your Apple device here, and your Android device here.