Uncle says he did everything he could do to save nephew in house - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Uncle couldn't save nephew in house fire

Brandon Copeland, Uncle Brandon Copeland, Uncle

A Thomas county man is mourning the loss of his nine-year-old nephew who died after a fatal house fire.  

Update: Glenn Allen with the State Fire Marshal's Office says the fire started in the attic. An absolute cause cannot be determined, but was not intentional, therefore, accidental.

Family members say nine-year-old Jaboris Copeland loved sports, making people laugh and most of all, the "King of Pop."    

"He loved Michael Jackson. When Michael Jackson died he cried like a baby," said Brandon Copeland.  

The second grader was sleeping in this back room when flames engulfed the house just after midnight on Palmer Road in Meigs. Brandon Copeland says he was on the phone when he suddenly smelled smoke.  

"I got up to see what it was, and when I opened my door, black smoke everywhere," said Copeland.    

Five people were in the house at the time of the fire. Copeland says both he and his mother exited out this side door.  

"She was running so fast she missed a step," said Copeland.   His sister-in-law and her youngest son jumped out this back window after pushing this security bar out. Copeland made several attempts to get Jaboris out.  

"In the last little wince I heard him, I told him I wasn't going to let him die," said Copeland.  

He snatched out this air conditioning unit and security bars, but he says it was too late.  

"I was going to get my nephew, I just couldn't do it," said Copeland.  

Four fire departments responded to fire. Copeland's mother, 65-year-old Queen Copeland was taken to Archbold Memorial Hospital in Thomasville and is in good condition.  

"I got four people out of there, and that ain't good enough for me. I needed all five of them out of there," said Copeland.  

The Thomas County Fire Chief says the cause of the fire remains under investigation. The State Fire Marshal's office is investigating the cause of the fire.  You can help the Copeland family by contacting Cleveland Copeland at 229-393-4561.

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