Investigation into fire that killed 5 children in northwestern Arizona continues

Dec 19, 2023, 7:19 AM

File photo of a Bullhead City Fire Department emergency vehicle....

Five children were killed in a residential fire in Bullhead City, Arizona, on Saturday, Dec. 16, 2023. (Facebook File Photo/Bullhead City Fire Department)

(Facebook File Photo/Bullhead City Fire Department)

PHOENIX — Officials in northwestern Arizona are still trying to determine the cause of a fire that killed five children over the weekend.

Four siblings and a relative between the ages of 2 and 13 perished in the blaze at a home in Bullhead City on Saturday evening. The siblings’ father was out shopping when the fire broke out just before 5 p.m., according to the Bullhead City Police Department.

A Bullhead City Fire Department employee was the victims’ grandfather, police said.

The Lake Havasu City Fire Department and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are assisting on the investigation.

“They are working tirelessly to get answers,” Bullhead City Police Chief Robert Trebes said in a video statement Monday. “Like you, we want answers, too, to try to understand what happened and bring some closure and peace to parents and families involved.”

Anybody who has photos or videos of the fire was asked to contact the Bullhead City Police Department at 928-763-9200.

How were five children killed in fire in Bullhead City?

Initial findings indicated that the fire started in the downstairs foyer area of the two-story duplex in the 400 block of Anna Circle, police said.

The victims were found in an upstairs bedroom. They apparently were there when the fire started and could not get out of the house when the flames extended up the staircase, police said.

The children’s names were being withheld pending official identification by the Mohave County Medical Examiner’s Office. The siblings were boys ages 2, 5 and 13 and a 4-year-old girl, and the relative was an 11-year-old boy.

What efforts were made to save the victims?

Neighbors’ rescue efforts and a fast response by the Bullhead City Fire Department were unable prevent the tragedy.

Neighbors placed an extension ladder to the upstairs bedroom but were unable to get the children out.

The fire was extinguished nine minutes after the fire department was called at 4:54 p.m., according to a timeline provided by police.

The first firefighters reached the scene at 4:59 p.m., and they had water on the flames less than a minute later. The main water supply was established from a fire hydrant at 5:01 p.m., and the main body of the fire was out at 5:03 p.m.

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Investigation into fire that killed 5 children in northwestern Arizona continues