Tragic House Fire Claims Life of Toddler with Special Needs
Tonight, two families are mourning the loss of a special needs toddler who perished in an early morning house fire. Police say 4-year-old Kaylee Flores was fast asleep when a blaze broke out from across her bedroom. Flores was reportedly left in the care of her 13-year-old aunt, who attempted to save her from the burning building but had no luck. The incident is one that has investigators scratching their heads due to conflicting reports from the family and neighbors. Reporter Vejea Alvarez
Vejea Alvarez, Love FM: The charred wood and scattered rubble inside this room tell a grim and shocking tale of how 4 year old Kaylee Flores lost her life in an early morning blaze. The toddler and her thirteen year old aunt were sleeping on this very mattress when a fire broke out in a bathroom adjacent to the bedroom. Flores’ aunt 14 year old Oceana Castillo told police that she woke up to use the bathroom and noticed it was engulfed in flames. The teen then reportedly then ran to alert her brother 21 year old Fabio Parades, his wife 19 year old Doreece Parham, 20 year old Tedra Brakeman and a 19 year old woman. Brakeman said they then attempted to rescue Kaylee but failed after several attempts but managed to rescue Parades’ two year old son.
“I tried hard because when the fire caught from in the bathroom the little girl ran out and then she knocked on the door and then at the same time her brother got up and I got up too and then I asked him “Where is the baby” and he said in the room and then the fire had already started and I tried to go in but the fire already took over the whole room.”
Vejea Alvarez, Love FM: How fast was that ?
“Fast. We couldn’t believe it.”
Vejea Alvarez, Love FM: And you guys had to try to save your own kids as well.
“Yes and then her baby was left in there she ended up bringing them out too and the baby was left in there, the baby was already smokey.”
Vejea Alvarez, Love FM: And she ran back in ?
“And she ran back in without her little clothes too.”
Vejea Alvarez, Love FM: While that’s the family’s version of events fire personnel say there have been conflicting reports from the family members they have spoken with. According to station supervisor Kenneth Mortis the fire fighters who responded to the scene had no idea someone was trapped inside.
Kenneth Mortis, Station Supervisor, National Fire Service: “It wasn’t until probably between five to seven minutes in trying to extinguish this fire that we were alerted that somebody might have been in the building. By then it was way too late for us to try to conduct any form of internal firefighting as the entire upper of this structure had already been gutted and the debris was now falling on the second floor or the ground floor of this building.”
Vejea Alvarez, Love FM: Despite the family’s claims investigators says that the homeowner Fabio Parades was socializing at a neighbors home when the blaze broke out but rushed over. Mortis explained that so far fire personnel have had a hard time obtaining the information they need due to varying reports from the family.
Kenneth Mortis, Station Supervisor, National Fire Service: “It is puzzling as to directly conclude and say what is the cause. There are factors that we can rule out however because from our field of work and our expertise we are not strongly buying into everything that is coming from the family. I respect the fact that they’re grieving but however the information coming forth from the fire scene at this current moment is not as credible as we would want to believe and that I a bit of a hinderance for us the fire department to directly say that this is what caused the fire. Like I mentioned our team is still trying to determine the cause.”
Vejea Alvarez, Love FM: While investigators are yet to ascertain the cause of the blaze Brakeman says the family believes that the fire was sparked by a faulty electrical wire. She also claimed that Kaylee who was unable to walk bit her aunt and refused to be held when she was attempting to save her.
“She said that the baby when she hugged her she fought her or scrapped her or something and she hurry ran outside to come knock and that is the same time I got up because I was sleeping in the chair.”
Vejea Alvarez, Love FM: And what was the minutes like after you ran out the house and realized that Kaylee was still inside ?
“Yes. I don’t know. Hmm. I don’t know what to say.”
Vejea Alvarez, Love FM: Do you guys have any idea what may have sparked this deadly fire ?
“I think it’s the wires. Have to be the wires.”
Vejea Alvarez, Love FM: You guys had wires running from one of the rooms to the bathroom ?
“No. I don’t even know how in here is set up because but it’s from I think inside the bathroom because the wires.”
Vejea Alvarez, Love FM: Fire personnel say Kaylee’s mom was not at home at the time and is yet to provide them with a statement. Mortis added that at this point the blaze remains a mystery.
Kenneth Mortis, Station Supervisor, National Fire Service: “Our electrician which is a part of the fire department certified by PUC electrical flaw was ruled out. We confirmed that there was no cooking at that time so we cannot say that it was a stove left unattended. We checked the area thoroughly we couldn’t find anything to support even if the neighbors or family members would want to allege to a malicious act we didn’t detect any of those on the scene, we didn’t detect any foreign substance hence the reason I said due to the credibility of the information received from the scene it is throwing a wrench in trying to determine the exact cause as to the fire. I know there’s something bigger than what is coming from the fire scene but due to lack of proper cooperation from the families affected I believe at the end of today if we cannot directly determine the cause this will leave a stump in the investigation.”