Escondido mobile home fire: One child dead, another airlifted

Posted at 5:00 AM, Dec 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-29 21:40:20-05

ESCONDIDO, Calif. - A 5-year-old girl was killed in a fire early Thursday at a mobile home in Escondido, and her 10-year-old uncle was injured, authorities said.

The fire at the Greencrest Mobilehome Park in the 500 block of West 15th Avenue was reported shortly after 12:30 a.m., according to Escondido police.

In addition to the girl who died, a 10-year-old boy was injured in the fire and airlifted to a hospital for treatment. Up to seven other people were less severely hurt.

A family member told 10News they're at the UC San Diego Burn Unit with their brother, and he's in critical condition.

"If you wanted the definition of someone who was going to give you the shirt off their back that family is the one," said neighbor and friend Miles Garvey. "They would do anything for you."

Garvey said he woke up to the smell of smoke, and when he came outside, he saw the mobile home on fire and his friend Sandra screaming that her daughter and her brother were still inside.

"I was about to break down because it hits close to home, too," he said. "I have kids and I can't imagine what was going through her head."

Miles described Sandra Flores as a great mother who is always there for her kids. He said Flores' five-year-old daughter was smart, funny and excelling in school.

"She just kind of like honor roll for elementary, he said. "She's getting awards."

Fire officials say the cause of the fire was likely electrical problem or from candles, and it appeared to have started near a Christmas tree.

"It's kind of hard to tell at this point with the extent of the damage what occurred first, but those are kind of what we're looking at," said Escondido Fire Chief Russ Knowles. "Even though the tree was not the cause of the fire it contributed to the spread of the fire."

Garvey started a GoFundMe account to help raise money and get the family back on their feet.

"I know you can't replace a life, but I just wanted to try and help them get a place to stay, clothes, anything helps," he said.