Girl, 3, nearly drowns in backyard swimming pool

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX --- A 3-year-old girl nearly drowned in a backyard swimming pool on Saturday, according to officials with the Phoenix Fire Department.

It happened at a home in west Phoenix near 55th Avenue and Thomas Road.

The girl is reportedly in extremely critical condition at Phoenix Children's Hospital.

Police were on scene in minutes and performing CPR on the child. Firefighters arrived soon after the police.

"We hope and pray that the outcome is good but it's not looking real promising right now," said Capt. Tony Mure with the Phoenix Fire Dept.

Capt. Mure said the family with seven children was being careful as they were enjoying the pool on a very warm day. Both adults were watching the pool and the younger children were all wearing floaties.

"According to the family they were just having an ordinary nice day, having a barbecue and swimming with the family. There are seven children that live at this residence." said Capt. Mure.

However, when they started getting the children out of the pool and getting them dried off for dinner the 3-year-old wandered away from the rest of the family.

"The 3-year-old we believe at this point in time went back towards the edge of the pool and fell in. Other children were still in pool at the time and didn't notice it," explained Capt. Mure.

The child's mother found the girl in the pool, pulled her from the water and rushed her into the house where she started CPR and called 911.

Firefighters said the girl was probably under the water for less than two minutes showing how quickly things can go wrong with children and water.

"You can not give up. You have to watch this kids every second," said Capt. Mure.

According to authorities the family’s pool does not have a protective fence around it as required by Phoenix city ordinance.  That ordinance says, in part:


- With all new swimming pools permitted after May 4, 1990.

- Whenever an addition or alteration is made to any part of an existing pool enclosure (such as a change to a fence or to the wall of a house), then the new work must comply with the new barrier standards.


If you change a door to the backyard, the door must be made self-closing if it is part of the barrier.

- AFTER MAY 4, 1991, a barrier between the house, apartment or hotel room and the pool IS REQUIRED on:

- All public or semi-public pools such as at apartments, hotels and resorts.

- All single family pools where the pool is accessible to children under age six.
This means whenever a child resides in the house or regularly visits the property, such as in a day care or baby-sitter situation, or a relative’s house.

- These barriers are required to be installed retroactively, even if the pool was built before 1991.