Four people were killed in a house fire in Glendale early Wednesday morning where neighbors say a single mother lived with her three children, according to public-safety officials.
The blaze broke out in a home near 51st and Peoria avenues before 3 a.m. Wednesday, according to fire officials.
The fire destroyed the house and investigators said the bodies of four people, including two boys and a girl, were found inside the home after the fire was extinguished.
Investigators were collecting information early Wednesday and more details were not immediately available about the victims or the cause of the blaze.
Glendale police spokesman Sgt. Scott Waite said the house was fully engulfed when police and fire crews arrived. He said two of the people were found dead near the front of the home. The other two were found in the rear. Waite said it was possible they were trying to escape. Officials said three children died.
Waite said the incident did not appear to be suspicious but said the fire was still under investigation.
Candy Rodriguez, a neighbor and mother of six, lives across the street from the home that burned. She stopped to talk to a reporter while walking her daughter to the school bus and said she woke to a call from her neighbor alerting her about the fire.
“When I heard the explosion, I thought, ‘Could this happen to my house?’ ” Rodriguez said.
The neighborhood is close knit and full of families, she said, adding that it was normal to have more than 15 kids at a time playing a pickup basketball game. She said the family that lived in the burning house included a daughter in high school and two middle-school-age boys. Rodriguez described the girl as quiet and shy, while the boys were rambunctious.
Victoria Gough, neighborhood leader and block watch captain for 23 years, said the woman who died in the fire was a single mom who ran a bakery. Gough said the mother was raising her children in the same home where she had grown up.
“She worked hard,” Gough said of her neighbor. “They kept to themselves but were polite.”
Gough said she watched firefighters try to tame the blaze and that it appeared they went inside as soon as they could.
“I learn all of these things I need to do to teach the neighborhood to be safe,” she said. “You can’t help but feel guilty.”
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