Fire victim's aunt: 'He was a remarkable little fellow'

ANDREWS, S.C. (WCIV) - The boy who died in a house fire over the weekend{}was a seventh grader at Rosemary Middle School and his family members say he was a devoted athlete who brought happiness to everyone who knew him.

On Monday afternoon, Laura Pope spent time reminiscing about her great-nephew, 12-year old Dave Coombs.

"I'd describe him as a little angel. He was the sweetest little child," said Pope.

Deputies say Coombs' body was found in the debris of a mobile home fire at 10 James Drive in Andrews.{}

The fire broke out around 1:30 a.m. Saturday. Pope says family members called to inform her of the devastating news.

"I laid there and prayed for a while," Pope said. "It just I can't explain the feelings but, it was such a shock."

Family members say Coombs was a devoted athlete who never missed a practice.

"Even the principle, the teachers, everybody is coming and talking about he was such a special child," Pope said. "They've never seen anybody like him at his age."

Pope says Coombs had a sweet spirit and was mature beyond his years.

"I don't know why but he was like a little old, settled person. And, he was the sweetest little thing with everybody. It didn't matter who," she said.

Family members told deputies Coombs attended a birthday party Friday night but never returned calls from his mom.

Authorities with the Georgetown County Sheriff's Office say Coombs once lived in the home that burned. But according to a police report, the family was staying with friends because there were electrical problems. Deputies say Coombs' returned to the home without the family's knowledge.

Pope says she'll miss hearing Coombs' voice as he rode his bike through the yard.

"It always stayed in my mind ever since it happened," said Pope. "I miss him coming by and saying 'Aunt Bernice' where are you?"

The Georgetown Coroner's office says they do not yet have a definitive cause of death but an autopsy showed signs of smoke inhalation.

The State Law Enforcement Division is investigating a cause for the fire.{}

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