12-year-old Armona boy killed in house fire
ARMONA, Calif. (KFSN) -- A Kings County family is in anguish after a house fire kills 12-year-old Kaleb Null. The fire started late Thursday night as six family members slept inside. Flames gutted the home on Hanford-Armona road near 14th Avenue.
The fire broke out just a few blocks away from some baseball fields, where Kaleb Null spent most of his free time. Friends, family and coaches gathered Friday to pay tribute to Kaleb, and figure out how to move forward without him.
12-year-old Kaleb Null spent the last hours of his life-doing what he loved best, playing baseball with his little league team, the blue jays.
Joey Gonzales said, "He was like, in my words, he was one of the best."
Friday, people gathered to console one another, and tell stories about the beloved 6th grader. Players from an opposing team stood on the pitcher's mound, where Kaleb threw a no-hitter earlier this week. They released balloons in his honor.
At an age where kids aren't supposed to experience death, team manager Jimmy Jeff had the tough task of explaining the loss. He told them, "We lost one of our players, but just remember, he'll always be in your hearts."
The Blue Jays will now wear these patches for the remainder of the season. Jimmy Jeff said, "I did it for the kids so they can get through this."
Kaleb died late Thursday night when smoke and flames tore through his family's home. His mom, Katrina was asleep when the fire started. She managed to get her two other children, as well as two young cousins out safely -- but, says she couldn't go back for Kaleb.
Katrina Null, Kaleb's mother, said, "I just woke up and I saw it was foggy, so I went in the living room, and I grabbed the babies, and I called 9-11 and I pounded on the window."
Family members blame the landlord for the fire because they say the rental home had no working smoke detectors and a faulty heater. We contacted the home's owner-who denied those claims.
Regardless of how the investigation unfolds, this community says their main focus is to help Kaleb's family heal and rebuild their lives without him.
Kaleb's mother, said, "I'm very proud that my community is coming together this way."
The cause of the fire is under investigation. As for Kaleb's little league team-they plan to hold a vigil Monday night after their game. The game starts at 5:30.
armona, kings county, fire, local, shannon handy
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