Arson possible in house fire that injured 2 kids, killed dog

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by Catherine Holland

Video report by Javier Soto

Posted on January 15, 2014 at 6:20 AM

Updated Friday, Jan 17 at 10:06 AM

Map: 39th Avenue and Southern

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PHOENIX -- Investigators are trying to determine if a family member deliberately set a fire that sent four people to the hospital and killed a dog early Wednesday morning.

What's more, the people living the in the home confirmed to firefighters that there were no working smoke detectors.

It happened shortly before 4 a.m. in the area of 39th and Southern avenues.

Firefighters said the great-grandmother woke up to the smell of smoke. She was able to hustle everybody outside.

Crews arrived on the scene to find flames and smoke pouring from two bedroom windows. A family of five -- two adults and three children -- were already outside. Two of the kids, both younger than 8, suffered minor burns to their hands and legs. They, the great-grandmother and one other member of the family were taken to a local hospital as a precaution.

While all of the people survived and are expected to be fine, the family dog was killed, despite the firefighters' best efforts.

They tried to using special equipment from a Fido Bag to revive the dog, but unlike other recent incidents, they were unable to save it.

A man who lives in the home tried to douse the flames, breaking a window so he could dump water on them. Firefighters said the influx of oxygen from the broken window might actually have fed the flames, making the situation worse.

A member of the family told investigators that his brother had an issue with him and might have set the fire while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. They say it has happened before.

Firefighters confirmed that they have been called out to the house in the past.

Investigators are sifting through the rubble as they try to determine if the fire was arson.

Fire crews say the family is extremely lucky, especially considering the fact that there were no working smoke detectors in the house. Firefighters consistently say that having working smoke detectors is one of the best things you can do to protect your family.

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