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Child dies in Dawson County house fire
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Dawson County Emergency Services responded Wednesday night to the scene of this residential fire on Davis Road that killed an 11-year-old boy.

Authorities are unclear on what caused the deadly blaze that claimed the life of a Dawson County boy overnight Wednesday.

“After investigation, the cause has been ruled undetermined, not suspicious,” Dawson County Emergency Services Chief Lanier Swafford said Thursday afternoon.

Dawson County Coroner Ted Bearden said 11-year-old William Lee was pronounced dead at the scene of the Davis Road fire in western Dawson County.

“He was removed from the fire. The exact cause of death is still under investigation. We won’t know any more until after the autopsy is performed,” Bearden said.

Lee attended Riverview Elementary off Dawson Forest Road, according to school officials.

Grief counselors were on hand at the school Thursday morning to help students cope with the trauma of losing a classmate.

“In situations of crisis and tragedy, it is extremely important to make sure that students and staff are provided with additional support and counseling,” said Janice Darnell, director of student services with the Dawson County School System. “During difficult times, the school counselors throughout the district join together to provide counseling and grief support as may be needed for both students and staff at the affected building.

“Students, like adults, all process the stages of grief differently. The school district will continue to monitor the counseling and support needs of students and staff during this difficult time.”

Three others, including a second child, were at the home at the time of the fire that was reported at 10:15 p.m.

“They were able to escape,” Swafford said.

A woman at the home was taken by ambulance to an area hospital and treated for smoke inhalation.

Swafford said the 1,200-square-foot, double-wide mobile home was about 50 percent involved when first responders arrived.

“Callers advised a subject was possibly still in the residence,” he said. “A search of the residence located an 11-year-old male patient, whom after extrication and evaluation was determined to be deceased.”

The home is considered a total loss.

Agents with the state fire marshal's office were called in to assist with the fire investigation.

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