Fire crews outside a home in south Phoenix where a man died and a woman was critically injured when a blaze broke out there July 25, 2017.
Phoenix Fire Department

A man died and a woman was critically injured in a house fire Tuesday morning in south Phoenix, officials say.

The fire broke out before 5 a.m. at the home near Roeser Road and 16th Street. Inside at the time were three adults and three children, boys ages 6 to 12 years old.

Firefighters pulled the woman from the burning home, and she was rushed to a hospital, as was a man who needed treatment for smoke inhalation, said Capt. Reda Bigler, a Phoenix Fire Department spokeswoman.

The children were evaluated at the scene and did not need medical aid, Bigler said.

It wasn’t until other family members arrived to the home that fire crews realized they were unable to account for a third adult. The body of a man in his 40s was found inside the ruin.

‘It was horrifying’

Cheryl Mooney, a neighbor, said that she woke up around 4:35 a.m. and smelled smoke coming from outside.

“I look out the door and I said, ‘Something’s on fire,’ and just when I did, the fire trucks were pulling up,” Mooney said.

She said three kids were in the street screaming for their mom, dad and uncle, so Mooney brought them back to her house to try to calm them down.  

“People was hollering and the kids were out here screaming, so I just got the kids and was like, ‘Let me get the kids away from here first, get them out of the smoke and out of the situation,’ ” Mooney said. 

Mooney said she lost one of her nephews in a house fire years ago and that these situations scare her to death.

“It was horrifying,” she said.

‘Everything was chaotic’

Another neighbor, Lori Goode, said the children were incredibly attached to their mother and were crying out for her. Goode’s own children had grown up with the adults whose home caught fire.

“Everything was chaotic, smoke everywhere, everybody running around hysterical, kids were screaming hysterically,” she said. “It’s bad.”

Goode said she stopped one of the children from going back inside the burning house.

“He said, ‘My mom’s in there, I gotta go,’ and I said, ‘No, no, baby, you can’t go,’ ” Goode said.

Both Goode and Mooney said that a GoFundMe will be started to help the family with expenses. They said that people in the community have already started passing out their numbers and addresses to aid them.

“They was good people,” Goode said. “I just hate to hear it happen.”

Phoenix fire and police are investigating.

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