Child dies in Saginaw house fire

Deadly house fire takes the life of Chakur Tolbert, 8.

Family and friends took time Monday to remember Chakur Tolbert, 8, a young boy who family members said was literally and figuratively one of their most cherished Christmas presents.

Mary McDonald, Chakur's great aunt said , "He was born on Christmas day and he was quite the gift to us."

However, Friday a kitchen fire in his home turned deadly.

"The fire just kind of got out of control. The stove may have got out of control," said Ralph Martin, a Saginaw Fire Marshall

"I was driving home from the Detroit airport when I received a call from my sister and I knew it was not good," added McDonald.

Chakur suffered smoke inhalation and was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Chakur's grandmother said, she is devastated about this because she lives five houses away, but in tragic times that's when family and friends step in and lend their support and talk about what a great athlete Chakur was.

Willie Buchanan, a mentor and volunteer at Horton Elementary School in Saginaw said,"He was a very very good student. Good kid and well mannered. . . He enjoyed life, you know, he liked sports basketball, football, and uh going to school,"

"It seems like a dream, a terrible terrible dream," McDonald said.

Chakur's family has a fund set-up in his name at Citizens Bank on Washington Street in Saginaw, if you would like to help out.

His funeral will be Wednesday at Zion Baptist Church.