The family was released from the hospital and is said to be okay – but their house is a total loss. Investigators said the fire started in the kids bedroom and spread quickly.
"We are left with nothing, all we have are the clothes we're wearing," said Reynaldo Solorzano. He lived in the house with a family of five – including 3 young children. Their toys and strollers are scattered throughout the backyard.
The house went up in flames early Friday morning. Investigators believe the fire started in the back of the home where the children were sleeping. "The mother was folding clothes, heard the children screaming in the bedroom after they went to bed. She ran into the bedroom and seen there was flames dropping from the ceiling on the bed," said Fresno Fire Battalion Chief, Tim Henry.
Two of the children and the parents received minor burns and were taken to the hospital for treatment.
Solorzano was not at the house during the fire but when he saw the aftermath hours later, he couldn't help but think of the family. "I couldn't reach them and wasn't sure if they were okay," said Solorzano. It wasn't until an American Red Cross volunteer came up to him and told him the family was displaced. "The family is very traumatized, especially when you're talking about young children," said Ellen Knapp of the Central Valley American Red Cross. "The entire house was a loss so they have lost everything."
The Red Cross is providing the family with shelter, food and medicine for their wounds. Investigators say the extent of the fire damage could have been prevented if there was a smoke detector in the home.
"It was spreading very, very fast and it was really burning," said neighbor Mary Price. Price said the thick smoke made its way into her house, setting off her detector. "The smoke was so strong it went up to the door. I had to close the door and stop my alarm from going on," she said.
Thankfully no lives were lost but fire fighters say this should serve as a reminder to people that smoke detectors should be in place.
Investigators are still looking into what caused the fire but believe it was accidental.