Girl, 9, killed by house fire involving Christmas tree

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey
By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey
By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX -- Authorities say a 9-year-old girl is dead after a fire at her Phoenix home that injured six other family members.

Phoenix Fire Department officials say Victoria Aguilar wasn't breathing and didn't have a pulse when she was pulled out of the home.

"She was a lovely kid," says Victoria's cousin Edith Salazar. "She was always smiling."

"She was the sweetest little girl; very strong," says Zully Lopez, who attends church with the family. "She always wanted to help; very strong. So we are going to miss her a lot."

Fire officials say three children suffered burns and four other people inhaled smoke in the fire which began about 3:30 a.m. Monday.

The mother and two young boys are in critical condition, according to Dr. Kevin Foster with Maricopa County Integrated Health Systems. She is suffering from smoke inhalation and burns. The two boys have burns on 30 to 40 percent of their body and were in surgery at the Arizona Burn Center on Monday.

"The problem with both of these young boys is that they have circumferential deep burns on their hands and upper extremities, and the burns themselves are causing constriction and blocked blood flow," says Foster.

The father and two older girls are awake and alert, according to Dr. Foster.

"None of the three of them have much in the way of significant thermal injuries and we're watching the three of them very closely for signs and symptoms of smoke inhalation," Dr. Foster said. "Mom has suffered pretty severe smoke inhalation and is on the ventilator and on life support. Her burns are not that bad."

There's also no immediate word on the fire's cause, but it did involve a Christmas tree. It started when the family was sleeping.

"The area of origin was around the Christmas tree in the main living quarters of the house," said Phoenix Fire Department Capt. Mark Vanacore. "I do not have a specific cause of ignition but I can confirm with our investigations unit that whatever it was that did ignite this fire was in close enough proximity to the Christmas tree and that definitely did add to the quick spread of the fire this morning inside the home."

Dozens of firefighters responded to the fire and were told that some people still were inside the home.

The fire also forced evacuation of an adjacent house, displacing a family of five. The American Red Cross is helping them.

It's not clear yet whether the home had any smoke detectors.

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The Associated Press contributed to this story

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The following website has been set up for the Aguilar family, through the Maricopa Health Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Maricopa Integrated Health System. Members of the community who wish to make donations to help the Aguilar family just need to click on the link below to donate.  
 
https://maricopahealthfoundation.org/aguilarfamily

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PHOENIX (AP) -- A house has sent an entire Phoenix family to the hospital.

Authorities say three children suffered burns and four other people inhaled smoke in the fire early Monday morning.

There's also no immediate word on the fire's cause. It started when the family was sleeping.

Fire Capt. Benjamin Santillan says a girl either age 9 or 10 wasn't breathing and had no pulse while at the scene. Police spokesmen did not immediately respond to a request for information on conditions of those injured.

"When we have young ones involved it really bothers us because with this 10-year-old female she's beginning her life," said Capt. Santillan. "For us we look at our own children, see our own children and really that's one of the biggest things it really does bother us."

Dozens of firefighters responded to the fire. The first to arrive immediately entered the home because there were people inside.

"It was very chaotic. Firefighters immediately just put on the brakes and ran inside that house. They didn't even have a water supply, nothing. They just ran in to look for those people to try to get them out," Santillan said.

The fire also forced evacuation of an adjacent house, displacing a family of five. The American Red Cross is helping them.

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PHOENIX (AP) -- A house has sent an entire Phoenix family to the hospital.

Authorities say three children suffered burns and four other people inhaled smoke in the fire early Monday morning on the city's west side.

There's also no immediate word on the fire's cause. It started when the family was sleeping.

Their conditions aren't immediately available.

Dozens of firefighters responded. The first to arrive immediately entered the home because there were people inside.

The fire also spread to a house next door, displacing a family of five. They're being helped by the American Red Cross.

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