Child recovering from life-threatening injuries after house fire

Published: Dec. 19, 2022 at 4:24 AM CST
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - A child and four dogs were rescued from a burning home on Rockford’s southeast side late Sunday night, with another individual treated for minor injuries after attempting to rescue those trapped inside.

The fire broke out around 11:30 p.m. in a home in the 3000 block of Lapey Street.

“The cause of the fire on Lapey street is actually still under investigation but I can tell you it originated in the kitchen,” Jason Viveros, with Rockford Fire Department, told 23 News.

Firefighters needed to help a six-year-old trapped on the first floor of the house. Four dogs also needed to be rescued. The child is reportedly in serious condition at OSF St. Anthony Medical Center, while the animals are fine and were turned over to the police department.

Investigators say the house had no working smoke detector, something they say is the first step to prevent fires. The fire department also suggests sleeping with your door closed so in case there is a fire, the smoke won’t do as much damage to you.

“Doing that can really help to hinder the passage of fire and smoke. Which we know that smoke will kill you first”

Neighbors, like the Mendez family, offered shelter to the victims, giving them warm clothes.

“Just to see all of them kind of like lose a house, you know what I mean? It’s like one of the safest places to be yah know, and just to lose that immediately it’s really heartbreaking, and you can’t just help but think about the kids that had to experience that and maybe the trauma they’re going to live through,” said Albert Mendez.

They say it’s the least they could do.

“You could be part of our family too, I wanna take care of you guys, My parents are more than happy to help you out too so, anytime,” he told 23 News.

The house was condemned with an estimated $40,000 in damage.

23 News spoke with friends of the family on Monday. According to one of the messages on social media, the 6-year-old is doing better. His tubes were removed, and he is breathing better.