They were the granddaughters of a local fire department employee. Neighbors said they did everything they could to get in and out of whoever was there, but they were unable to do so.
Four siblings, ages 2, 4, 5 and 13, and an 11-year-old cousin, who was visiting family, died at the scene. They were all in the same room, on the top floor of the house, when the fire broke out in the basement.according to what was reported by CBS News.
Police said firefighters arrived four minutes after the fire started. Initial investigations showed that the fire had risen to the only staircase inside the house, preventing them from exiting. Neighbors had tried to rescue the children, including placing an additional ladder to the upstairs bedroom, from outside the house.
Bullhead City is a relatively small, close-knit community where everyone looks out for each other and residents with children look out for the neighborhood kids, commented resident Patrick O’Neill to CBS affiliate KPHO-TV.
O’Neill and other neighbors ran to the property when they saw the flames. They used hoses and smashed windows to try to enter the house. Authorities continue to investigate the causes of the fire.
We came around the corner and saw smoke rising. We opened the garage door, and the closer we got to the front door of the room, the more smoke entered the garage and caused people to suffocate. We screamed at the top of our lungs for an answer from someone inside, but we saw or heard nothing. We did everything we could.
Patrick O’Neill, a neighbor of the house that caught fire
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