Family: 7 year old son started deadly fire

PETERSBURG, VA (WWBT) -- The family of 2 year old LeShay Yates, who died in the deadly fire early Monday morning, tells us their 7 year old son started the fire that killed LeShay.

On Monday evening, hundreds of people gathered outside the burnt home, to remember LeShay and help the family through what is now tow tragedies.

With heavy hearts--- the Petersburg community held their lit candles toward the sky, to remember little LeShay Yates, better known as Shay Shay to loved ones.

"It's been a nightmare from hell, to tell you the truth," says dad Cecil Yates. That nightmare for Cecil and his family got worse, after a stunning admission by LeShay's older brother.

"After talking to him and the detectives talking to him, he finally admitted he started it. He went in the hallway and lit a piece of paper. That piece of paper caught onto something else and that's what started it," he says.

Fire and police investigators will not confirm that yet. But Cecil tells us no charges are expected to be filed against his seven year old son.

Now this devastated family is dealing with two tragedies: a daughter gone all too young and a family hoping their son gets the help he needs, emotionally and mentally.

"That makes it twice as tough, makes it twice as tough," Cecil adds. This, as he and his family rely on the community to carry them through it all.

"I wasn't expecting all this (the vigil). That's what's giving us our strength to get through this," says Cecil.

Petersburg Police tell us they are waiting for the autopsy results from LeShay's autopsy before making a decision on the cause of the fire.

Fire investigators plan on meeting with LeShay's family first thing Tuesday morning to learn more about this deadly fire.