According to authorities in Bullhead City, Arizona, a two-story duplex caught fire on Saturday night, killing all five children—including the father, who had left them alone while he went grocery shopping and celebrating Christmas. According to the authorities, all five were grandkids of a firefighter in the area.
The neighbors reported they did all they could to get out, but were unable.
A Facebook event announces that on Wednesday at 6 p.m. local time, a vigil will be held at Rotary Park in Bullhead City to remember the victims.
Police reported that in the same upstairs bedroom, a 13-year-old boy, a 5-year-old boy, a 4-year-old girl, and a 2-year-old boy, all brothers and sisters, died. Additionally, an 11-year-old male relative who was visiting also perished.
According to the police, firefighters responded to the fire four minutes after the alarm was raised.
Police said initial investigations indicated the fire began in the downstairs foyer, making it likely that the youngsters on the upper floor could not have escaped in time. They were trapped since the fire had made its way up the home’s one staircase.
The five individuals’ identities will not be released until the Mohave County Medical Examiner’s Office formally identifies them.
Investigators from the Lake Havasu City (Arizona) Fire Department and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms (ATF) were brought in to help with the investigation, and they are currently trying to determine the cause of the fire, according to the police.
Many concerned neighbors allegedly attempted rescue operations, including bringing an extension ladder to the second-floor bedroom, as reported by the police.
Bullhead City is a tiny, tight-knit town, according to KPHO-TV, a CBS station in Phoenix.
“Everyone watches out for one other; it’s a tight-knit community,” neighbor Patrick O’Neal told the station. “Those of us with children make it a point to watch out for our neighbors’ children,” he added.
The grandpa of four victims, John Jones, married to Tanya Jones, works as a fire inspector for the Bullhead City Fire Department.