ESCONDIDO — An early morning fire killed a young girl and hospitalized a 10-year-old boy on Thursday, according Escondido Fire Chief Russ Knowles.
The blaze erupted at about 12:30 a.m. and is believed to have been caused by candles or an electrical issue, Knowles said, adding that technically the cause is undetermined.
“As the first engine pulled up, the majority of them (family members) were out,” Knowles said. “Obviously, they were frantic and telling our first crews there were kids inside.”
The boy was saved by the firefighters, who had arrived on the scene shortly after the fire began. Knowles said an Escondido police officer notified the firefighters of “muffled” noises coming from inside the home at Greencrest Mobilehome Park on West 15th Avenue and Hill Street.
Firefighters went into the house, although Knowles said due to the thick smoke the first responders had zero visibility and had to feel their way to the boy. They could not find the girl, who Knowles said is about 5, although fire officials had not confirmed her age.
However, firefighters pulled the boy from the blaze and performed CPR and were able to restore a pulse, Knowles added.
“He was in critical status,” he explained. “I haven’t heard back if the recovery had continued or not.”
Knowles said nine people were in the residence at the time of the fire. He called the event “tragic.”
The fire blew out all the windows and doors of the home due to the intensity of the heat. Knowles said mobile homes burn hotter than single-family structures due to the way they are manufactured.
“It was a very fast and hot fire that our guys had to attend to,” he added. “It was complete black smoke all the way to the ground.”
At least eight members of the family were transported to local hospitals for treatment, according to media reports.
“It’s very sad,” Knowles said. “And when there is a child (killed) it’s a lot worse.”
A gofundme page has been established for the family at gofundme.com/yr-flores-family.
Steve Puterski covers Carlsbad and Vista. For tips or story ideas, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @StevePuterski.