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Great-uncle: Child dies trying to save dog in St. Augustine house fire

The fire occurred in the 1000 block of Lee Street. Firefighters arrived to the scene and were told someone was still inside the home, said SJCFR.

A child has died after a house fire Tuesday night in St. Augustine, the St. Johns County Fire Rescue (SJCFR) confirmed.

The fire occurred in the 1000 block of Lee Street. When firefighters arrived, they were told someone was still inside of the home. Firefighters entered the home and found the child dead. They were able to put out the fire.

Family members confirmed the child was 11-year-old David Eugene Taylor. His great-uncle Mark Hall says David was a student at R. J. Murray Middle School.

Hall told First Coast News that the mother and her two kids woke up to the fire alarm going off around 11 p.m. He said they had to get out of the house through the window.

"They was all getting out 'cause they went through the side window, and she turned around and he was not there," Hall said.

Hall said the David went back to try and save the dog. The dog did make it out of the house.

"He went back in to get the dog," Hall said. "He [probably] breathed the smoke in and passed out."

He said the mother and 18-year-old daughter safely made it out, but they were covered in soot.

Hall said this is the second child his niece has lost. He said recently, she lost her other child in a freak accident.

SJSO says an autopsy confirms the body is consistent with that of an 11-year-old boy. Authorities have not confirmed the identity of the child.

There is nothing suspicious about the child's death, according to the autopsy.

SJSO's spokesperson, Chuck Mulligan, said a deputy was also injured from the fire after he tried to get into the house to save the child. Mulligan said he suffered a minor burn on the arm.

The cause of the fire remains unknown. An investigation was launched by SJCFR, the State Fire Marshals Office and the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office.

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