Woman, 12-year-old son killed in Queen Creek house fire

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Two people were found dead after a house fire in Queen Creek. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Two people were found dead after a house fire in Queen Creek. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
The Arnett family (Source: GoFundMe) The Arnett family (Source: GoFundMe)
Two people were found dead after a house fire in Queen Creek. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Two people were found dead after a house fire in Queen Creek. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Two people were found dead after a house fire in Queen Creek. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Two people were found dead after a house fire in Queen Creek. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Two people were found dead after a house fire in Queen Creek. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Two people were found dead after a house fire in Queen Creek. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
QUEEN CREEK, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office has identified one of the two people found dead after a house fire in Queen Creek.

MCSO officials confirmed that one of the victims is 12-year-old Joshua Arnett.

Sgt. Calbert Gillett said the identification of the other body is pending forensic tests, however, family members said it was Joshua's mom, Juliet.

The fire occurred Wednesday afternoon at the family's home near Chandler Heights and Sossaman roads. After firefighters extinguished the fire, the two victims were located inside the home.

Juliet's oldest son, Jon Arnett, said the family is sticking together.

"As long as we can stay together, we'll be able to make it through this," Arnett, 28, said.

He said the family has been "floored" by the outpouring of support from the community.

"The generosity that's been shown by the community isn't anything that we would have ever expected and if I could, I just want to thank them any way that we can for what they're doing," Arnett said. "It might just be money that they're donating but they don't realize that behind all that, we're just feeling love, we're feeling love, we're feeling prayers from people that are taking time out of their day to think about our tragic loss and the pain that our family's feeling right now."

[VIDEO: Victims' son/brother thanks community for support]

Arnett said his 51-year-old mother had six children and two grandchildren.

"My mom was an amazing cook," he said.

Arnett said his mother worried about them all and regularly asked about their lives.

"I would always try to hide it, but she always knew when something was wrong and she had a way of getting it out of me," he said. "She loved all of her kids and she loved her grandkids.

"There was no one that she loved more than my dad and my little brother, Josh," Arnett continued. "That little kid was the glue, he was the glue in our family."

He said everyone who lives on the street loved Joshua, who had autism.

"Dude could barely talk, dude could barely say a sentence, but the amount of love and joy that we felt through him was everything and we still feel it," Arnett said.

Neighbors said they tried to help Joshua's father after they saw the fire.

"It looked like the husband had just come home from work and he was distraught," said Jim Murray, who lives across the street.

Murray said he saw smoke coming from the home and went to see if he could do anything to help.

Murray said neighbor Scott Gifford and the husband tried to get into the house but couldn't because of the flames and smoke.

Gifford described the family as "very nice people" and said the community loved them.

"The mom and the son were always together and it just looks like, from everything I saw, she devoted everything she did to him," Gifford added.

Arnett said his father is "hanging in there."

"My dad is an oak and he is ... he loved her, through everything," Arnett said. "He always loved her."

MCSO arson investigators are working to determine the cause of the fire.

A GoFundMe account has been set up to help the family: https://www.gofundme.com/3aky960.

A family walk and pancake breakfast will be held Saturday, Jan. 28, 9 a.m., at the Queen Creek High School track, to help with funeral expenses and other needs.

[RELATED: Two people found dead after house fire in Queen Creek]

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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