Family mourns the loss of two boys killed in house fire

By Melissa Correa - bio | email

HENRICO, VA (NBC12) - A 9-year-old boy who escaped a house fire Friday night dies.

This after his 16-year-old brother was also killed in the blaze.

Memorials have been placed at the remains of the family's home on the corner of Johnson and Oak Hill.

For some friends and family, it's something they've got to see to believe.

"I'm just in shock," said cousin Antoinette Brandon. "I got the phone call last night and I just couldn't believe it."

Brandon raced to the Henrico home Saturday morning.

Eyeing the spot where her cousin, 16-year-old Ashton Black took his last breath.

She and Ashton's sister Asheli reflected on the life he lived.

"He was a sophomore at Henrico High School," said Asheli. "He sung in the school's gospel choir. He was a part of the ROTC."

Asheli was at a play when the fire started.

More than 50 text messages alerted her around 8:00 Friday night.

"All they could think about is that my brother Aaron had autism," she said. "They just wanted to make sure that he was okay, because they knew he could not talk."

The 9-year-old, Aaron Brown, and his 16-year-old brother were alone.

Their mom, dad and another brother were headed home.

Asheli believes Ashton kept Aaron alive until emergency crews arrived.

"He's a Superman," said Asheli "He's a hero, just for that."

The family may have lost all their belongings, but they have yet to lose hope.

"I just ask that you keep our family in your prayers," she said.

Aaron Brown was taken to VCU Medical Center for treatment but succumbed to his wounds Saturday.

Firefighters are still investigating what may have caused the blaze.

(c) 2009 WWBT, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.