Mother of toddler who died in Lee County house fire speaks about her son

Published: Mar. 20, 2023 at 5:48 PM EDT
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BEAUREGARD, Ala. (WTVM) - A 19-month-old died following a house fire in Lee County Saturday morning. Multiple agencies, including deputies, investigators, and the Beauregard Volunteer Fire Department, responded to assist. Five people were able to escape the fire, but authorities could not save the boy, who was less than two years old.

“He was always happy. He was never sad nothing really kept him down,” said Mother Myriah Smith.

Mother Myriah Smith mourns the loss of her 19-month-old son James Shurum also known as Baxter…who did not make it out alive after a house fire in Beauregard.

Early morning Saturday, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call in reference to a structure fire.

Brother of Smith, Baret Reeves, said a space heater had a shortage which sparked a nearby blanket… that alerted the 8-year-old who was sleeping in the living room next to the heater. She quickly alerted the mother in a separate bedroom with 19-month-old Baxter… Reeves said his mother tried everything she could to put out the fire with the fire extinguisher.

Five people were able to escape the fire, and family members did everything they could to try and save Baxter, but unfortunately… he was not able to be saved, and the 4-bedroom home was burned down in 12 minutes.

Smith said she had worked the night before and dropped off Baxter to spend time with her mother, who he loved deeply.

“He was loved by everybody, even new people he met he brought a smile to their faces. Like I said, he was outgoing and loved everybody,” said Smith.

Smith said she and his father will never forget the memories with their son and hopes his bright smile and outgoing personality will be remembered by everyone who knew him.

“His laugh, his smile, like I said, he was always outgoing he loved doing anything,” said Smith.

The home is a total loss. Here is a list of clothing sizes of the victims:


  • Pant size: 16W, XL in Leggings
  • Shirt size: 2XL
  • Bra: 38D
  • Size 10 Shoe
  • 9 in underwear

13-year-old Male:

  • Pant size: 40x32
  • Shirt Size: tall
  • Size 13 shoe
  • 2X boxer briefs

29-year-old Male:

  • 36x30 pants
  • 2XL shirts
  • 1XL boxer briefs
  • Size 11 Shoe

Cash App donations: $Danye11e

Venmo donations: @Danyelle-Dubose

If you would like to send a gift or gift cards, you can address to 154 side lane Tuskegee, Al 36083.

A family friend, Brandee Lee, has also organized a GoFundMe for the family.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact the Lee County Sheriff’s Office at 334-749-5651.