Alabama dad runs into burning house for daughter; both die

Published 6:55 pm Sunday, February 2, 2020

Alabama fire officials say a man ran into his burning house for his 2-year-old daughter, and both were killed.

A 10-year-old is in critical condition, Birmingham Fire and Rescue Battalion Chief Sebastian Carrillo said.

Abuwi Rahmaan identified the man as his friend, Shaun Sanders, 28, and the toddler as Sanders’ daughter, Shaundela Sanders, reported.

He said he also lived in the house and helped Sanders bring out Sanders’ own children and Sanders’ sister’s children.

“All the children were sleeping in one bed,” he said. “We were trying to grab everybody.”

Once they were outside, he said, “I heard the baby gave a little shout,” he said. Sanders ran back in and didn’t make it out, he said.

The cause of the fire is being investigated, Carillo said.

Rahmaan said he thinks it started with a space heater. A smoke detector failed to sound, he said.

“The fire spread so quick it was everywhere,” Rahmann said. “It happened fast. It was so hot and the smoke was so thick.”

Four people have died in house fires in Jefferson County in the past three days, the newspaper reported.

The two others died in separate fires Thursday: Lauren Christine Youngman, 63, early Thursday in Center Point and a person, who has not yet been publicly identified, that night in southwest Birmingham.