Fire officials are actively investigating the Sunday morning blaze that took the life of a child.

The young victim was identified Monday as 9-year-old Ryan Rios.

The fire started around 6 a.m. Sunday in the garage of the home on the 400 block of Beverly Drive. Firefighters rushed in to rescue Rios, who was in a back bedroom.

The child later died at University Hospital.

Neighbor Vincent Fedoric saw the flames grow quickly.

“It looked like the house had gotten some oxygen or air or something and they all of the sudden just shot up real high,” he said. “You’re hoping everybody got out safe and sound and when you find out about the child, it’s really heartbreaking.”

Neighbors said Rios did not live at the home but was there to spend the night with his cousins.

Grief counselors were on hand Monday at Glenoaks Elementary where Rios was a third-grader. His older brother is a fifth-grader at the same school.

“As expected, they took it very hard. The news was very tough,” said Veronica Ball, coordinator of elementary guidance services for Northside ISD. “Teachers consider students like their own children. And so it’s very tough on their hearts.”

As questions remain about what caused the fire, those who knew Ryan best are keeping his memory alive through their grief.

“The most important thing is to ultimately get them to retrieve those good memories- those things they remember about Ryan that they will keep forever,” Ball said.

Grief counselors will be at Glenoaks throughout the week to help students and staff cope with the loss.

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