Mother, Child Killed in Fort Worth House Fire

Shock and devastation, that's what a Fort Worth neighborhood and an extended family is going through after a fatal house fire on Thursday.

On Friday morning, a woman and child died from their injuries suffered in the fire.

Fort Worth fire investigators say the house fire was sparked by a suspected electrical problem near the front of the home.

Flavio Saldivar told firefighters he was able to escape from a back window after he awoke to his wife yelling that the front couch was on fire. Saldivar then suffered serious injuries when he tried to re-enter the home to get the woman and child out.

Saldivar remains at Parkland Hospital in critical condition.

Saldivar's cousin, Saul Ortiz, identified the woman as Karla Guajardo, through her Facebook photos. The Tarrant County Medical Examiner's Office confirms her name as Karla Guajardo-Salazar, 27, and her cause of death to be smoke and carbon monoxide inhalation. She died at JPS Hospital less than an hour after firefighters were called to the home Thursday night.

He says the young boy was Jesus, 6, who was better known as Coco. Ortiz says Coco was adopted by Saldivar and Guajardo several years ago. The medical examiner's office has not yet confirmed the child's name and age as of Saturday afternoon.

"He was real energetic, that I know of, I seen," Ortiz said. "I mean he liked playing with little kids and he liked animals."

Ortiz was still raw with emotion when he spoke in front of his cousin's house on Friday afternoon.

"Just devastating," he said.

He sad the entire family was still coming to grips with what happened.

"Shocked more than anything," Ortiz said.

Ortiz says Guajardo and Saldivar had been together for several years, but may have just recently gotten engaged. A post on Guajardo's Facebook page says the two were engaged on February 4. A picture posted to her page also implies that she was pregnant. Ortiz told NBC 5 that she may have indeed been pregnant.

Fire officials say they found no smoke detectors inside the home and that the fire cut off any exit through the front door. At the back door fire crews found an exterior lock that would have been escape impossible. They cannot say for sure if anyone tried to go out that back door or whether having smoke detectors or that back exit would have made for a different outcome. 

"I just feel so sad about this," said neighbor Freddy Perez.

One neighbor told NBC 5 he and his father tried to help get in the house, but the flames were too much.

Perez says by the time he saw the flames, firefighters were already nearly at the home. He says flames shot out the front door near where fire officials say the fire started.

"I just don't' know what to say, I just feel bad," Perez said. "I seen the little boy play outside, the mom and them always having little barbecues, you know. I feel sad."

Fort Worth Fire Capt. Tom Crow told NBC 5 by phone that having smoke detectors in a house gives occupants extra warning to get out. He says if there's a fire in a house, residents should leave immediately and not try to fight it because house fires can spread very quickly.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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