PUEBLO, Colo. (CBS4) – Four people died in a house fire early Tuesday morning in Pueblo.
The fire broke out just after 2 a.m. on what appeared to be the main floor of the house in the 1300 block of East 2nd Street.
Firefighters say when they arrived they found the bodies of a man, a woman, and two children inside the home. Pueblo County Coroner James Kramer identified the people as Harvey Montoya, 62, April Hon, 26, and Hon’s young children, Frankie Anaya, 2, and 3-month-old Michael Hon-Montoya. A dog was also killed.
“They were awesome people. I know they are going to be dearly missed,” family friend and day care provider Debbie Loreto said.
Pueblo Fire Chief Chris Riley believes the fire was started by a cigarette that ignited an oxygen tank that was in the home for medical reasons.
“They were towards the back of the house near the rear door. It appears they were trying to get out that rear door and were overcome with smoke,” Riley said.
Neighbors say they are devastated.
“I’m shocked, I’m saddened, my heart really goes out to the families, it’s just really terrible,” Loreto said.
There have now been six people who have died in Pueblo so far this year in house fires. Riley says they usually average one death a year.
“I talked to some firefighters this morning. The firefighters are understandably having a difficult time. Pulling out victims of a fire, it’s very emotional, difficult, and trying, but for 25-year veterans this is the worst fire that they have encountered in their 25 years,” Riley said.