12-year-old killed in fire was visiting mom for his birthday

BUTTS COUNTY, Ga. — Authorities are investigating an early morning house fire that left one child dead and a teenager injured.

The fire happened around 6:40 a.m. Sunday on Highway 42 South near Indian Springs in Butts County.

Fire officials said there were adults in the house at the time of the fire but sadly, the 12-year-old boy didn’t make it out. His 16-year-old sister was seriously burned.

Channel 2′s Audrey Washington was in Butts County, where family members gave her pictures of Ayden and his sister, Naveah, who is being treated at Grady Memorial Hospital.

Washington talked to Shawn Wadsworth, who lived at the home. He said he was able to get his fiance and her daughter out of the house, but couldn’t get to Ayden.

“I couldn’t. I just couldn’t make it,” Wadsworth said through tears. “There’s a reason behind it. Maybe they needed him up there.”

Wadsworth said Ayden had just celebrated his birthday last Thursday. Family members said Ayden didn’t live at the home but was in town to celebrate with his family.

Wadsworth said he first heard his fiancee and Naveah scream for help.

“I never heard them scream that high-pitched,” Wadsworth said. “And they said, 'Shawn! Shawn, smoke! So I grabbed them and went outside to the porch.”

Wadsworth said he ran back inside the home to get Ayden but it was took late. The flames and heat pushed him back.

“When the smoke came at me, there was a flash… whoo … and it knocked me backwards," Wadsworth said. "So I opened the door again and I tried to dive under it. I did everything I could, but it wasn’t enough.”

“He’s a great kid. He was a great kid, and he’ll be missed,” Wadsworth said.

Butts County Fire Chief Mike Wilson said this fire is really affecting his firefighters.

“It’s terrible. It’s terrible. We’ve got several firefighters just devastated. Some are being debriefed now in Jackson, and then we also have contacted some of our pastors and they’re going to debrief the rest of the guys later on,” Wilson said.

Investigators are still pinpointing what caused the fire.

"It’s still under investigation. We have the local fire marshal as well as the state here,” Wilson said.

The Red Cross is working to help the family.