Phoenix townhome fire leaves dad, 2 kids dead; 2 boys remain in critical condition

A father and two of his kids died in a Phoenix townhome fire and firefighters say they didn't have smoke detectors.
Published: Mar. 2, 2023 at 5:38 AM MST|Updated: Mar. 2, 2023 at 6:13 PM MST
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PHOENIX, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) – A father and his two children have died as a result of a townhome fire in central Phoenix late Wednesday night. Two other children are still fighting for their lives. “This is an unfortunate loss for our community,” Phoenix Fire Capt. Rob McDade told reporters during an afternoon news conference.

Phoenix Fire Capt. Scott Douglas says firefighters arrived at the scene near 35th and Northern avenues around 11 p.m. and found the townhome full of smoke with flames coming from the windows. Fire crews aggressively attacked the flames while searching the townhome for victims. During the search, they found the father and his four children inside their bedrooms. One by one, firefighters carried them out and tried to save them. The father, who hasn’t been identified, died at the scene.

Paramedics rushed one girl and three boys between the ages of 5 to 12 to the hospital. A boy and a girl died Friday morning. The other two boys are in extremely critical condition. “I can’t believe it because I saw them the morning of. I was going to school and smiled at them. They were getting in the car and left for school. Now this?” said Alisan Bresnahan, a neighbor. Neighbors are saying one or more of the children may have had some type of disability. The victims’ names haven’t been released.

A father and two of his kids died from a home fire in Phoenix. The two kids died while in the hospital, but their two siblings are still in critical condition.

Early indications are that the fire started when everyone was sleeping, which is why nobody woke up. Officials say there are no obvious signs that the fire was intentionally set. There was a badly burned washer and dryer that was pulled out of the home. “We are now looking at what could have been an accidental start to this fire,” McDade said. No working fire alarms were found inside the townhouse.

No firefighters were injured but officials described the emotional and mental toll calls like these, involving children and death, take on firefighters. “Our firefighters are fathers and mothers. You can never quite train folks to deal with the loss of youth,” McDade said.