Boy, 9, dies following Avondale house fire

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AVONDALE, Ariz. -- A 9-year-old boy has died after suffering burns on over 75 percent of his body when his house caught fire Monday morning.

Firefighters responded to a fire at a two-story home near Dysart and Buckeye roads in Avondale just before 8 a.m.

Avondale Battalion Chief Ben Avitia said crews found William Pearson and his two young children on the lawn. The man told firefighters that his 9-year-old son was still inside.  Officials believe the boy was on the first floor, but then for some reason, ran upstairs during the fire.

Fire crews found Clayton Carbonari on the second floor. He was in extremely critical condition when he was airlifted to the Arizona Burn Center at Maricopa Medical Center. Doctors said he suffered third-degree burns to his back and legs, along with severe smoke inhalation.  He was in an induced coma and on a ventilator before passing Monday evening.

Neighbors are saddened and shocked.

"We're just devastated," said Elsa Sandoval. She has a 9-year-old son, as well, and  "can't even think of what the mother is going through." The mother was at work when the fire broke out.

Pearson was also taken to Maricopa Medical Center and is listed in stable condition with burns to his hands. The other children, a 6-week-old and a 13-month-old, were transported to a hospital as a precaution and have been released.

Avitia said the fire spread quickly through the first floor, but crews were able to get the fire under control before it spread to neighboring homes.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.