Girl, 2, shows improvement from injuries in fire Friday

10/23/2012
BY TAYLOR DUNGJEN
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Taevion Maulsby, 4-year-old boy who died in Vinton Street fire.
Taevion Maulsby, 4-year-old boy who died in Vinton Street fire.

A 2-year-old girl injured during a fire in the Old South End on Friday is improving, family members said Monday.

The girl, identified by family as Alyssa Autman, was taken to Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center for treatment; a spokesman there had no information about a patient by that name.

Taevion Maulsby, 4, died at St. Vincent Friday night of smoke inhalation as a result of the fire, officials have said.

Also at the duplex, 721 Vinton St., at the time of the fire was the young girl's mother, Jessica Dukett, 28, said Toledo police Sgt. Joe Heffernan.

A family friend, Angie Hiser, 44, of Toledo, said a memorial fund was set up in Taevion's name at Fifth Third Bank to help the family pay for funeral costs.

Ms. Hiser described the boy as “an extremely happy little guy.”

Ms. Hiser was a friend of the boy's biological grandmother, who died several years ago. Ms. Hiser said she treated the boy as if he were her grandson.

“He was just full of energy, you know, just like any other 4 year old,” she said.

She added that Taevion loved to play sports and was always riding his bicycle, jumping on a trampoline, or playing basketball with the toddler-sized hoop she had.

“I kid you not, every time he threw that ball, he made that shot,” she said.

Toledo fire crews were called to the Vinton Street duplex about 7:30 Friday night on a report of a “pediatric unresponsive.” When crews arrived, they found the two children and Ms. Dukett on a front porch and smoke coming from the building.

The cause of the fire is unclear, although preliminary findings indicated the fire might have been caused by children playing with matches, according to the Lucas County Coroner's Office.

Lieutenant Hertzfeld said the investigation is ongoing. Damage to the residence was estimated at $10,000.