Fire Officials: No Smoke Detectors In House Where 3 Died - FOX 35 News Orlando

Fire Officials: No Smoke Detectors In House Where 3 Died

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Kevin Soto said he and his father moved fast as the fire swept through the second and third floors of a three story apartment building right next to theirs on Spring Garden Street.

They scrambled across a narrow ledge to get a woman and her young child out alive.

"He grabs the baby, passes it to me. I bring the baby down and give it to my mother," Soto told Fox 29.

"She started screaming there's another baby, there's another baby," said Alize Soto.

Soto and his family managed to save the woman and her baby, but three others didn't survive the fire that was brought under control some 30 minutes later. This was Easton's first fatal fire in a dozen years.

"It's really heartbreaking because I love kids and they were really nice people also," Kevin Soto said. "It's just really painful to know that a child did die."

"It shocked me. I was in total shock because just seeing them all the time and now they're gone," Alize Soto added.

Neighbors identified James Strickland as one of the victims along with Joy Lozier. 

The 4 year old victim was identified as Mackai Peters who waspcitured on a Facebook memorial page with his mother.

"It's sad you know you got a child, nobody likes to see a child, likes to see anybody die. Let alone a child, a mother, it's heart breaking," said Kris Thompson who lived on the first floor.  

Fire investigators believe the fire may have started in the laundry area near a dryer.

"They had a dryer there running and we believe the dryer had something to do with it," said Easton Fire Chief John Bast.

Chief Bast also said there were no working smoke detectors in the home.

"We didn't find any smoke detectors in the entire house, upstairs or in the downstairs apartment," Chief Bast said.

Landlord Tom Moskella tried to refute that.

"The third floor where the bedrooms were I had two smoke alarms there," he told reporters. "I think I had another one on the second floor there."

"It's just heartbreaking," Soto said about the lack of smoke detectors.

"If there were smoke detectors, it probably could have been avoided, the casualties," Aliza Soto said.

Kris Thompson lives on the first floor. He said his apartment did not have smoke detectors either.

"I'm not gonna sit here and say that would have helped, it would not, you never know you're always gonna have that over your head," he said.

The exact cause of the fire is still under investigation.

The home has been boarded up and several people in the adjoining row home had to be evacuated too. A small memorial went up at the scene Monday afternoon. Several people stopped by to pay their respects with flowers and candles.

 

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