4-year-old killed in central Lubbock house fire - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

4-year-old killed in central Lubbock house fire

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By Tiffany Pelt - email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – A four-year-old boy is dead and his three-year-old brother is in critical condition after a house fire in central Lubbock Saturday night.

Fire Fighters rushed to 1509 42nd Street around 7:30 p.m. after getting a 9-1-1 call from Crucifica Castillo, 28. Investigators say Crucifica woke up from the smoke and frantically got all three of her kids out of the house by the time fire fighters arrived five minutes later.

Neighbor Leah Delacruz saw a couple stop to help give CPR to the kids, but after all efforts Jeremiah didn't make it.  "She said he was cold when she had gotten to him, and it took her about five breaths to get him to come back. He just took a breath finally, and then he stopped breathing again," said Delacruz.

Joseph, 3, was also seriously injured and rushed to UMC. "She said the little boy had burns from here down and he was bleeding severely," said Delacruz motioning from her face down. A family member told KCBD Joseph is still at the hospital unable to breathe on his own.

Crucifica and her six-month-old baby were also taken to UMC with minor smoke inhalation, her husband Jesse was out of town during the fire. Their house and all their belongings destroyed by the fire.

Investigators say the fire started in the boy's bedroom in the back of the house where Jeremiah and Joseph were at. The Fire Marshal's Office ruled out any criminal activity or electrical problems as the cause of the fire, but they do say the family was using the stove top as a heating source. "Any child unintentionally could of have touched a toy up there. We don't know that we just haven't' been able to rule that out as a possibility," said Robert Loveless, Lubbock Deputy Fire Marshal.

A tragedy, investigators said could've been prevented. "There were no working smoke detectors in this home, and 100% of the fatalities that I've been involved in that's the case; There's not a single working smoke detector in the home," said Loveless.

Since the Castillos were renting the home and had just moved in three months ago the property owners, by law, should have installed smoke detectors. "Texas law does state that working smoke detector has to be in place and documented as working at the time they move in," said Loveless. "If that's not documented basically that liability stays with the landlord."

Loveless said the Fire Marshal's Office will begin investigating whether there were smoke detectors working in the home at the time the Castillo family moved in.

If you would like to help donations can be made to the Calvillo Funeral Home or to the America Red Cross by (clicking here.)

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