6-year-old boy dies in Detroit house fire, brother clings to life
Updated On: Feb 01 2013 02:47:36 PM EST
A 6-year-old child died Tuesday morning after being pulled from a house fire on Detroit's west side just after 7 a.m. in the 500 block of Tarnow Street.
Rescue crews were unable to save 6-year-old Michael Chavez after pulling him from the burning home.
His 4-year-old brother, Julio Chavez, is said to be in "extremely critical" condition. He was transported from Henry Ford Hospital to Children’s Hospital, where children can receive critical care for burns and smoke inhalation.
Where was mom?
Police are still trying to figure out where boy’s mother was when the fire broke out. Sources have told Local 4 that she often left the boys alone when she worked nights.
Where were Detroit EMS crews?
The firefighters were seen by neighbors running and carrying the two children to their fire truck. Firefighters then rushed the boys to the hospital.
Firefighters have expressed their sadness and outrage on Facebook - upset that no medic came to the house to help the boys. A source with Detroit EMS is also furious over the decisions made Tuesday morning. The source tells Local 4 that medics from a station at Joy and Southfield were called to the fire, when two other ambulances are stationed closer to the house. One of those ambulances was out on a what’s being called a "minor" run when the fire broke out, the next closest ambulance, Local 4 was told is broken down.
Both firefighters and medics are blaming Detroit’s city council and Mayor Dave Bing for allowing the city’s ambulance fleet to fall into such bad shape that ambulances' are taken out of service and not repaired.
One source said, “If you have a heart attack right now, no one is coming” due to the lack of working ambulances in the city.
Back at the scene
Family members gathered at the home Tuesday morning. Fire investigators want to find the two men who lived in the upstairs area of the home to ask them what happened. Fire crews do not know what caused the fire, but have ruled out arson as a cause. Sources have told Local 4 it looks like the fire may have started in the mattress in the bedroom where the boys were sleeping.
Donations are being accepted at the family's church:
St. Hedwig Church
3245 Junction Ave.
Detroit, MI 48209