Great-grandmother blamed for not saving baby killed in Tampa fire speaks out

Family handout.

PLANT CITY, Fla. (WFLA) — The great-grandmother of an infant killed in a house fire is speaking out about that tragic day, less than 24 hours after her own granddaughter blamed her for not trying to save the child.

“God I wish I could have died instead, I really do,” says 67-year old Barbara Weidman.

Weidman says 9-month-old Rylan was napping across the house when the fire started. Her granddaughter, 17-year-old Deziray, who is the child’s mother, had left him in her care while she ran a few errands with her boyfriend.

The fire broke out about five minutes after Deziray left, according to Weidman.  When she saw the flames, Weidman says she did everything she could to save the baby.

“I could see a big red ball of fire through all that black smoke,” she says.

Deziray and her mother, January Weidman told News Channel 8 they believed more could have been done to save the baby.

“Why she didn’t tell them where his room was?” Deziray asked.

Her mother echoed the question, asking, “Why she couldn’t run out the house screaming there’s a baby inside?”

But through tears, Barbara tells us that’s exactly what she did.

“I couldn’t get through there. It was so hot, I could hardly breathe. That’s when I had to give up and go outside and call for help,” says Barbara.

By the time firefighters arrived, it was too late. Rylan had died in the fire.

Barbara tells us she understands how devastated her granddaughter is, but wants her to know how sorry she’ll always be.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Barbara get back on her feet. She lost everything in the fire.

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