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Child dead, three others injured in Phoenix apartment fire

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Posted at 4:52 PM, Dec 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-15 19:52:45-05

PHOENIX — A 4-year-old child is dead and three others are injured following an early morning apartment fire, according to the Phoenix Fire Department.

The 2nd alarm apartment fire began around 4:30 a.m. on the second floor of the apartment complex near 23rd and Dunlap Avenues.

An adult male, adult female, 10-year-old girl and 4-year-old were trapped inside the apartment, which led to the death of the 4-year-old child.

When firefighters arrived on scene, they received reports from neighbors that people were trapped inside of the burning apartment.

A KNXV photographer on scene spoke to a neighbor who said she heard a child in the building yelling for help.

“You could hear the child yelling ‘Help me, help me,’ ” the neighbor told KNXV. “It really broke my heart.”

As the apartment was going up in flames, Robert Tienda ran to help.

"I kicked the door open and I was able to use my shoulder to pop it out," Tienda said.

That's when he says he saw a woman inside the burning home.

"I just see a person come towards me and me and her I grabbed her and we both went on the ground and I go, 'Where's your kids? Where are your kids?' and she wouldn't say anything to me," he said. "Maybe she couldn't talk because of the smoke or something because I know even me when I was just there for five seconds I could barely talk and my eyes were burning and everything."

Tienda says the woman ran back inside, but the smoke was too much for him so he started knocking on neighbor's doors.

"I would've definitely gone in there and if I would've got burned, I would've got burned, but at least I would've tried," he said. "I wouldn't have cared what happened to me, I would've tried. But, obviously, it's too late."

Fire crews were able to reach the second floor and rescue the adult man, woman and 10-year-old from the apartment complex.

The adult male, female and 10-year-old girl were transported to an area hospital for treatment. The woman is in critical condition and the man and 10-year-old are listed in serious, but stable condition, according to Phoenix Fire Captain Rob McDade.

According to the fire department, two families will be displaced for "an unknown amount of time" due to the damage caused by the fire.

The Greater Phoenix Chapter of the American Red Cross says they are helping multiple families that were displaced as a result of the fire.

No firefighters were injured during the incident.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

This story was originally published on KNXV.