Mom dead, 3-year-old saves baby sister from Maricopa mobile home fire

Posted: Updated:
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

MARICOPA -- One person is dead and three others, including a 1-year-old girl, were injured when a mobile home fire in Maricopa went up in flames Friday morning. That 1-year-old wouldn't be alive if it weren't for her 3-year-old big brother.

Firefighters were called out to an area near State Route 238 and Warren Road at about 8:30 a.m. Aerial video showed smoke from the fire was visible for miles.

According to Brad Pitassi, spokesman for the Maricopa Fire Department, the mobile home was fully engulfed in flames.

"They go up very fast," Pitassi said. "They burn hot and fast and it's remarkable that the two people that made it out made it out alive."

The children's mother, Michelle Muriano, 22, was found dead inside what was left of the mobile home. She was found only 3 feet away from the front door.

"She was trying to make her way out of the house," Pitassi said.

In addition, the 1-year-old and her 28-year-old aunt, Marion Muriano, were badly burned. Pitassi said both of them were in critical condition when they were air-lifted to the Arizona Burn Center at Maricopa Medical Center.

The girl received burns to 30 percent of her body, primarily her face and torso, and the aunt reportedly was burned over 70 percent of her body.

Pitassi said the girl's 3-year-old brother dragged her to safety as the mobile home burned down.

"He defines hero," Pitassi said. "It's remarkable that a 3-year-old has the courage to do what he did."

The family works as hired hands on a farm.

The women's two uncles saw the fire and ran to help. One received very minor injuries.

The cause of the fire has not yet been determined.

The Red Cross responded and is going to set the family up in lodging in the Valley to be close to the hospitalized victims.

Maricopa is located south of Phoenix in Pinal County.