3-year-old still hanging on after fatal fire - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

3-year-old still hanging on after fatal fire, family sends important message

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Jeremiah Ramirez Jeremiah Ramirez
Joseph Ramirez Joseph Ramirez

By Tiffany Pelt - email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - A three-year-old boy is still in on life support after an accidental house fire in central Lubbock killed his four-year-old brother this weekend. It happened in the 1500 block of 42nd Street. While a fund is now available to help the family pick up the pieces, family members are also trying to send an important message.

Family members tell us three-year-old Joseph Ramirez has second degree burns on his face and arms, and is unable to breathe on his own. "...touch and go right now," says Rosalinda Acuna, Joseph's grandmother. "He's going to have some scars... Just going to have to ... I mean I'll take him anyway we can get him back," she said holding back tears.

Heavily sedated by medication to mask the pain, Joseph has only woken up once since the accident. His grandmother says the family is still hopeful, and the damage to Joseph's lungs is not as bad as they originally thought. "He's going to have some scars, but I'll take him anyway we can get him back," said Acuna.

Melissa Jimenez, the boy's great aunt, said Crucifica Castillo had the flu and had put the kids to bed early. "Her baby I guess gasping for air started kicking that's how she woke up. When she opened the door a gush of smoke just came out, and her baby was lying on the floor," Jimenez cried. "She picked him up and took him outside."

Despite efforts to bring him back, four-year-old Jeremiah Ramirez didn't make it. "Going to miss his giggles," said Acuna.

"The laughter, the playing, the giggles, we'll miss that .... We already miss it," cried his aunt.

The Fire Marshal's Office is calling the fire an accident. It started around 7:30 p.m. Saturday, and investigators said one of the boys could've started the fire and that it started in their bedroom. Investigators said Crucifica had been heating the home with their electrical stove top because there were problems with the gas heater, but they also said they'll probably never know exactly what happened.

Investigators also said there were no working smoke detectors in the home.

While the family prays Joseph pulls through, they're also praying the community will take something from this tragedy. "Check your smoke alarm, that's one thing I would like for everybody to do because it's hard when you lose a small baby like that," said Jimenez.

Crucifica and her six-month-old son Joshua are ok. They only had minor smoke inhalation. The husband and boys' father Jesse Ramirez and a daughter were not in the home at the time of the fire.

A fund has been set up to help the family in Jeremiah Ramirez' name. Donations can be made at Cavillo Funeral Home or any Wells Fargo Branch.

Again, all of their belongings were destroyed in the house fire. If you would like to donate clothing or supplies to the family, Joseph wears size 3T, the infant wears 6 months, and is also in need of pampers and milk. Jesse wears an XL shirt, 36" waist and 29" length pant, and a size 8 in shoes. Crucifica wears about a size 16 in women's and wears 7 1/2 in shoes.

The family had just moved in three months ago, and Texas Law states the landlord must have documented working smoke detectors in the home at the time the renters move in. The Fire Marshal's office said they will continue to investigate this.

©2010 KCBD NewsChannel 11. All rights reserved.

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