AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – A small memorial is sitting outside a home where an Aurora boy died over the weekend and a toddler was hospitalized after their house caught fire.
The fire started early Sunday morning at 12685 East 13th Ave., near the intersection with Salem. On Monday Aurora’s building inspector put up a condemned sign on the home.
Timothy Joseph Ramirez, 3, died in the fire and his infant sister Olivia, 1, is fighting for life in the hospital.
Aurora police and firefighters have launched two separate investigations into the fire. One investigation focuses on whether the fire was a case of arson. The other revolves around whether child neglect was partially responsible for the tragic situation.
Authorities said they are trying to determine if there was an adult watching over the children at the time of the fire. When firefighters got to the scene of the blaze they said a woman was outside crying hysterically that her children were inside and she couldn’t get to them.
Firefighters wound up forcing their way through the front entry of the home to get to the children, and three of the firefighters had to be treated for smoke inhalation.
The investigation into possible neglect may include past cases at the residence. Police said they have been called to the home in recent years.
A neighbor told CBS4 she called police once when a child from the house was repeatedly running around on the street naked.
Family members told CBS4 Michael Ramirez, the father of the children, was supposed to arrive in Denver from Georgia on Monday morning. Ramirez wrote the following on Facebook on Monday:
“The Lord decided to take away one of my most precious gift this morning and leaving my other hanging on with all she’s got. Please pray with us!! Timothy J Ramirez, daddy will ALWAYS love you!!”
“I don’t know what to think … we’re supposed to go before our children and our grandchildren. They’re not supposed to go before us,” Virginia Gauna, the children’s Great Aunt, said.
So far family members who talked CBS4 haven’t been willing to speak about the mother of the children. Police said she spent much of Sunday being questioned by officers.
Aurora police said anyone who has information about the case that might be helpful to investigators is asked to call Detective Lance Dyer at (303) 739-6088.