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8th-grader dies in house fire

A 13-year-old Fremont Middle School student died Thursday night in a fire at his family home, officials said.

The Steuben County fire was reported shortly after 11:45 p.m. at 6655 East 500 North.

It said that Fremont police officers were first on the scene. They found the other family members outside and the home engulfed in flames.

Fremont officers and firefighters tried to rescue the boy, the sheriff’s department said, but were unable to get inside.

Augustus “Gus” Larson died in the fire. His death has been ruled an accident.

The sheriff’s department said Mitchel and Crystal Larson family members were sleeping when one of the adults woke to the smell of smoke.

Most of the family members got out as the home was beginning to fill with heavy smoke, and the sheriff’s department said it appears that the boy’s bedroom window and screen were broken out, “and it is believed that Gus did not want to jump and retreated back inside the home in an attempt to escape elsewhere.”

Steuben County Coroner Bill Harter has advised that the boy succumbed to smoke inhalation.

The cause of the fire has not been determined. Many fire departments in and around Steuben County were called to assist in putting out the fire.

The Fremont School Corp. offered grief counseling today.

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