ESCONDIDO — Residents from all over Escondido, San Diego County and, perhaps, the country, have stepped up to help a family who lost their 5-year-old daughter, Elizette Orozco, in a fire last week.
A day after the blaze, 11-year-old Diego Floresvidal, the girl’s uncle, died at a local hospital, according to media reports.
With the tragic loss of two children, a family friend started a GoFundMe page for the Flores family, which has raised more than $57,000 as of Tuesday. Donations ranged from $5 to $5,000 to help the family cover funeral expenses and personal items lost in the fire.
The GoFundMe drive started with a goal of $10,000 about six hours after the fire. Just over eight hours later, the goal was increased to $15,000 due to the outpouring of support from those all over San Diego. More than $9,800 was raised in the first eight hours.
The page’s creator, family friend Miles Firme, kept increasing the goal as people continued to support the families.
On Dec. 29 at 12:36 a.m., the Escondido Fire and Police Departments responded to a structure fire with reports of victims trapped inside at the Green Crest Mobile Home Park, 541 W. 15th Ave., in Escondido.
Upon arrival, firefighters and police officers found heavy fire and black smoke coming from the front doors and windows. Family members on scene confirmed two children were trapped inside the home.
Firefighters took action and requested second alarm, an air ambulance, and additional ground ambulances, according to the EFD.
Two firefighters made entry to the rear of the structure where they quickly located Floresvidal. He was removed from the structure and firefighter paramedics and police officers waiting outside provided CPR, according to EFD Fire Chief Russ Knowles. Paramedics were able to restore a pulse, but the boy was declared brain dead one day later.
Floresvidal was transported to Palomar Hospital and was later transferred to UCSD Medical Center by air ambulance. A total of eight residents were transported to local hospitals with injuries ranging from mild smoke inhalation to acute status CPR.
After the fire was controlled, firefighters found the girl inside the mobile home.
The fire was contained to the mobile home by a total of 42 firefighters including seven fire engines, three truck companies, six ambulances and four chief officers. The EFD was assisted by San Marcos Fire, Vista Fire and Mercy Air. The Red Cross was requested to provide assistance to the residents.
The cause of the fire is undetermined, however it is possible the fire was caused by an electrical failure or a candle. No smoke detectors were found in the mobile home and there were no reports of a smoke alarm sounding.
Steve Puterski covers Carlsbad and Vista. For tips or story ideas, contact him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @StevePuterski.