3 family members dead, 2 fighting for lives after Phoenix condo fire

Mar 2, 2023, 1:27 PM | Updated: Mar 3, 2023, 8:26 am

PHOENIX – Three family members died and two others were fighting for their lives after firefighters pulled them from a burning condo in Phoenix on Wednesday night, authorities said.

The children’s father was pronounced dead at the scene near 35th and Northern avenues, police and fire officials said during a Thursday afternoon press conference. Four children — three boys and a girl — were rushed to pediatric hospitals in extremely critical condition. Two of the boys did not survive.

“We’re looking at folks who probably asphyxiated from smoke, not so much burn injuries,” Phoenix Fire Capt. Rob McDade said. “That’s the deadliest thing that can happen to them. That’s why they were all in respiratory arrest.”

The approximate age range of the children, who were found in their beds, is 5 to 12, officials said.

“We do feel … part of our family, part of our community passed away, and these are tragic events that us as first responders take very, very seriously, and investigators take very seriously,” Sgt. Rob Scherer of the Phoenix Police Department said.

“Our primary goal is to try to find those that were touched by these kids and the adult male involved and really, really reach out and be there for them.”

There were no signs the fire was set intentionally, officials said, but the cause remains under investigation. McDade said preliminary information is that the home didn’t have working smoke detectors.

“We will do our due diligence to make sure, leaving nothing unturned to try to figure out what started this fire,” McDade said.

The townhome was filled with smoke and flames when crews responded around 11 p.m. Wednesday.

Firefighters started battling the blaze while launching a search for occupants.

“Our firefighters did everything they could,” McDade said. “They made a valiant effort of going in there with a tremendous amount of heat and fire to do a quick search.”

They carried five unresponsive people from the burning structure and initiated advanced life-support measures.

“Valiant effort by the firefighters on scene to extract them, to knock down that fire, to give them a chance of survival,” McDade said.

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3 family members dead, 2 fighting for lives after Phoenix condo fire