Texas Blaze Kills 3-Year-Old

EL PASO, Texas --

Family members were left helpless Tuesday outside this charred home where fire fighters say a blaze began shortly after 11:45 a.m. Tuesday. The fire killed a 3-year-old girl, while her 31-year-old father is in the Lubbock Burn Center with serious injuries.

"We thought that there was no people inside the house, and after like a while, they started pulling out like the father of the house, and then, and then, probably like about, almost five minutes later, his daughter was pulled out of the house, that was crazy," said James Carrillo, a neighbor.

Carrillo could see that both were in bad shape.

"They were not breathing, they had oxygen to the father and to the daughter," said Carrillo.

Next door neighbor Jose Sanchez saw the flames, and tried to help.

"I ran and told my son, call the fire department, and I got the water hose, it didn't reach all the way, just where it reached I was spraying the water," said Sanchez.

He said he went to the front door, but the smoke kept him from going inside.

"So we went and broke the side window, and I could see him lying there, but I couldn't go in," said Sanchez.

Sanchez told KFOX he saw the 3-year-old girl lying right next to her sleeping father, who he said works overnight.

"Why is it that they weren't able to get out on time, whether it was because of lack of a smoke detector, whatever it is, what was the reason why they weren't able to get out?" said Lt. Mario Hernandez with the El Paso Fire Department.

Fire investigators later determined a space heater too close to flammable material caused the blaze, and as they suspected, the could not find any smoke detectors in the house.

Fire officials said the blaze caused $75,000 worth of damage. This is the third fire-related death in El Paso this year.

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