Apartment fire claims life of 1-year-old boy Friday
Faith Huffman | News-Telegram News Editor

March 28, 2005 -- Funeral services for 1-year-old Carlos John Joseph Lopez, who died Friday as a result of an apartment fire, have been slated for Tuesday at Murray-Orwosky Funeral Home Chapel. Burial in Shooks Chapel Cemetery will follow the 2 p.m. funeral service.

Family and friends can pay their respect to the family at the funeral home during visitation, which is slated from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday.

Donations to assist Carlos' parents, Haley Shackelford and Ivan Lopez, who did not have insurance, are being accepted in money jars in restaurants and convenience stores in Sulphur Springs. Friends and family have also established a fund at Community Bank for donations to assist the family. Donations should be made at the bank, located at 1404 South Broadway St., to the Carlos Lopez Memorial Fund.

Carlos was reportedly asleep in apartment 220 at Spanish Trails Apartments on East Industrial Drive shortly before 2 p.m. Friday when the fire occurred. A man saw smoke coming from the apartment and went into the blazing structure to rescue the child. Sulphur Springs and Hopkins County firefighters, responding to a general alarm at the complex, arrived just as the child was being brought down the stairs with his bedding.

Sulphur Springs Assistant Fire Marshall Eric Hill and Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Brian Worley began attempts to resuscitate the child. An ambulance crew from Hopkins County Memorial Hospital arrived shortly thereafter and assumed treatment of Carlos, rushing him to the emergency room at the hospital. Despite emergency responders and medical officials efforts, Carlos was pronounced dead at the emergency room at 2:50 p.m. Friday, less than an hour after his arrival.

A joint investigation between Sulphur Springs Police Department and Sulphur Springs Fire Department has been launched into the fire and subsequent death, as is standard practice in the instance of an infant death.

Fire officials said following the fire that it appeared accidental and had ruled out electrical problems as a possible cause for the fire., but have yet to make a ruling as to the cause of the fire. Police investigators were slated to speak with witnesses, bystanders and family members of the infant in an attempt to determine what happened, and the events leading up to, during and immediately following the fire. Child Protective Services had also been contacted as is standard procedure in an infant death, and will be working with fire and police investigators where relevant, police said Monday.

The memorial fund and donation jars were set up to help the family with funeral and other expenses, because "the young baby was not insured" family members said Monday.

"The family of this child ask for your help financially and in prayer through this time of great loss ... Your help is greatly appreciated," Haley Shackelford, Carlos's mother, said Monday.

Carlos Lopez is the son of Haley Shackelford of Sulphur Springs and of Ivan Lopez of Katy; the grandson of Greg and Cathy Pullen, and Wayne and Carla Shackelford from Hopkins County, and Lorenza Jaramillo and Jose Garcia, both of Katy; and the great-grandson of Armand and Norma Dulude, Albertina Jaramillo and Salomen Lopez.

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