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NEW DETAILS: House fire claims life of 10-year-old Yuma boy

CBS 13's April Hettinger learns more about where the deadly fire started

YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - We're learning more about a Yuma house fire that ended in tragedy Monday morning.

The Yuma Fire Department says the child who died was a 10-year-old boy. He was one of nine children and two adults living in the home.

The child was found dead after firefighters went into the burning home to try and save his life, according to Mike Erfert, public information officer with the Yuma Fire Department (YFD).

One neighbor, who didn't want to be named, recalls moments after they found his body.

"I saw that they were taking a person inside of something white and they put him in the ambulance, and then I didn't know what happened afterwards," said the neighbor, translated from Spanish.

Neighbors KYMA spoke with said they were surprised to find out there were so many kids living in the home. The family was renting the place and they kept to themselves.

"I knew it was a family but I didn't know them because they just moved in," said the same anonymous neighbor. "I knew it was a couple and I didn't know if they have kids because I didn't know them, but one time a boy came to bring my mail."

Another neighbor who lives just two doors down from the tragedy says they spoke with the woman who lives in the house.

That neighbor claims the woman said the victim was not her child.

YFD doesn't know what caused the fire, but they do know it started in one of the bedrooms.

They've ruled out any intentional-set fire, that it's not child fire play and that there's no indication that it was anything other than accidental in nature. 

In the meantime, the house has become a makeshift memorial. Members of the community are using balloons to express their condolences.

The family is asking for donations for the two adults and nine children.

  • 7-month-old girl: clothing size 24 months, size 6 diapers
  • 2-year-old girl: clothing size 5T, shoe size 6
  • 3-year-old boy: clothing size 5T, shoe size 9
  • 4-year-old boy: clothing size small 4-6, shoe size 10
  • 6-year-old girl: clothing size small 4-6, shoe size 10
  • 7-year-old girl: clothing size medium 7-8, shoe size 11
  • 8-year-old girl: clothing size large (girls), shoe size 2
  • 9-year-old boy: clothing size large (boys), shoe size 4
  • adult female: clothing size large (preferably t-shirts and shorts), size 7 sandals
  • adult male: clothing size 4XL t-shirts and 3XL shorts, size 11 or 12 sandals
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April Hettinger

April was born and raised in San Diego where she loved the beach town and her two dogs, Lexi and Malibu. She decided to trade the beach for the snow and advanced her education at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff.


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