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Mississippi 13-year-old dies after suffering severe burns

July 2, 2021 GMT

COLDWATER, Miss. (AP) — A boy has died after he was severely burned in north Mississippi.

Tate County Sheriff Brad Lance tells local news outlets that the child was burned on Sunday and taken to a Memphis, Tennessee, hospital. He died later after being taken to a burn unit in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Family and friends identified the dead boy as 13-year-old Gaines Coker of Tunica. He was buried Thursday in Tunica.

The incident happened while Coker and another boy were playing in a workshop building at a house at Arkabutla Lake near Coldwater.

“We’re in the very early stages of trying to determine what happened,” Lance told WREG-TV. “Any case involving a child is different whether it be fire, and especially a death investigation. It’s tough on everybody involved.”

It’s unclear how the fire started or if one of the boys set it. No one has been arrested or charged.

Lance said family members were inside the house when the fire started. The other boy was not injured.

The state fire marshal’s office is also investigating.