Local News

Mom's Desperate Attempt to Save Son From Fire Fails

Posted March 6, 2007
Updated March 7, 2007

— A community is in mourning after a mother, her infant daughter and 2-year-old son were victimized by fire Monday afternoon.

The boy, Joshua, was in a separate room and died in the fire as his mother, Shaquita Braswell, risked her life running into flames to try to save him, witnesses said.

"She'd rather die for her kids," said Ebony Green, a family friend. "And I'm pretty sure, right now, she wishes it were her instead of her son."

Firefighters responded to the Braswell home, at 137 Pratt Road, at about 3:20 p.m.

Witnesses said Braswell was able to grab her daughter but in the midst of the chaos was unable to locate her son. Friends say she jumped out the window, screaming for help.

"The mother, Shaquita, knocked on the window and said, 'My baby was on fire,'" neighbor Janice Sharpe said. "And we ran out -- I told my mother to call 911."

"He was trying to get out, Braswell's friend, Michael Williams, said. "They say he was knocking on the window trying to get out, but they couldn't get to him."

Braswell and the infant daughter were taken to the Burn Center at UNC Hospitals, where they are said to be OK physically.

The fire is still under investigation and so far, does not appear suspicious. Officials say one possible cause is an electric heater the boy was reportedly playing with moments before the fire broke out.


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  • Joy4u2 Mar 7, 2007

    I pray that our God will put his arms around this family and comfort them as they are grieving and will be for a long time. I hope all on here pray each night for this mother because she is really going to need our prayers. God Bless you the mother.

  • 1heelfan Mar 7, 2007

    My thoughts and prayers are with this mother and family. What a devastating thing to have to deal with!

  • letitbe Mar 7, 2007

    Now that folks is a real mother

  • theoneuadore Mar 7, 2007

    My prayers go out to this women and her child. God and your family and friends are standing by you. I have a two year old son myself and just can't imagine. What you tried to do is very brave and I most defin admire that. Please don't beat yourself up bc you did your best and I am sure you lil man understands that. Now he can be mommies angel....My prayers are with you.

  • Rocknhorse Mar 7, 2007

    What a tragedy! My heart goes out to this mother! I cannot even imagine the emotional pain! The family is in my prayers!

  • kbaysdon Mar 7, 2007

    This is such a terrible tragedy. My prayers are with the mother and child that survived. The 2 yr. old is in a better place.

  • thobbs Mar 7, 2007

    People need to think before they say such hurtful things in a time like this. This mother will be in pain the rest of her life because she tried but was not able to get to the child. Sympathy not verbal abuse is what this lady needs. Let God judge. Mother from Sampson County.

  • luvnmom Mar 7, 2007

    I live around the block from this family, and went to school with the mother. What alot of people don't know is that the grandmother hasn't been too long past either!! I have two toddlers myself and I can't even start to imagine the pain that Quita is going through. But, I want her and the family to know that Battleboro community will stand by her and her family in this time of need. If there is anything you guys need, please let me know. And for those who say what she could of, should of, and didn't do, how can you judge someone's intent if you were not there or haven't been put in that position yourself. In other words, don't be so quick to pass judgement...what about yourself?

    Dina Smith

  • Ashley Mar 7, 2007


  • spb Mar 7, 2007

    Do not judge until you walk in someone's shoes.

    God bless this family.