FT. LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – A memorial of flowers, stuffed animals, a Bible and a football emerged on the grass outside the home where 8-year-old Jayden Isme died in a fire on Monday.
There were personalized notes to the child and a friend said his pal Jayden, who loved to play football and ride his bike, will be deeply missed.
On Tuesday afternoon, Lauderhill Police released 9-1-1 calls from the deadly fire giving a glimpse into the efforts to save the child and also raising questions about what led to the blaze.
CALLER: “There’s a little boy stuck inside of the second floor. I don’t know where the parents of these kids (are),” she said.
A woman called to report the fire at 2031 NW 59th Way around 4:30 am on Monday. Jayden’s brother Justin, who escaped the fire by jumping from a second floor window, was with the caller.
CALLER: “Where’s your mom?”
BOY: “She was at work. My dad was here.”
CALLER: “Where’s your dad?”
CALLER: “Your dad left?”
BOY: My dad left us.”
Lauderhill Police said Tuesday that they believe a lit candle on the second floor of the home is to blame for the fire. As for where the parents were, police say they’re still trying to sort that out.
As the flames burned through the small apartment building you could hear people in the background of the 911 call screaming for Jayden. But it was too late.
Evlyne Mondestin woke up to the screams of her young neighbor, nine-year-old Justin Isme. Police said he jumped out a second story window to escape the fire and then went to get help.
“He tell me ‘Mami, fire, fire inside the house,’” said Mondestin.
Mondestin said she and Justin ran inside the burning townhome to reach the boy’s brother, Jayden, who was nicknamed Yo Yo.
When they reached the second floor where he was, they found it engulfed in flames.
“We called him Yo Yo, Yo Yo, Yo Yo was sleeping we cannot get Yo Yo,” said Mondestin. “The fire was all over the place, in the back and the front and we cannot do nothing for that little boy.”
Firefighters arrived within three minutes but couldn’t reach the child either.
“Once firefighters got into the house they tried to knock out the fire, however the intensity of the fire was so great the ceiling was actually collapsing on them,” said Lauderhill police Lt. MIchael Butkus. They later discovered Jayden’s body.
Justin Isme was taken to Plantation General Hospital and discharged on Tuesday.
The children live in the townhome with their mother. Their father stays there occasionally. Mondestin said Justin tried to call his parents who she says had left them alone.
“The boy called the mother, she don’t answer the phone. The boy called the father, the father don’t answer the phone,” said Mondestin. “After that the mother and the father come together and when they come they scream. They left their kids by themselves inside the house.”
Next door neighbor Michael Florent said the boys were often left alone.
“It’s a tragedy. Should probably take it as a lesson learned. Kids shoudn’t be left home by themselves,” said Florent.
The boys’ father posted a photo on his Facebook page two hours after the fire started which showed him and Justin crying. The caption reads, ‘Please cherish every sec. Yooooooooooyooooooo.’
Police are interviewing the parents and other family members to determine whether this was a case of criminal negligence.