9-year-old responsible for waking family during Orange County building fire

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Tuesday, April 9, 2024
Newburgh fire rips through buildings; child alerts family to evacuate
Marcus Solis has the latest on the house fire and hero in Newburgh.

NEWBURGH, Orange County (WABC) -- A 9-year-old boy is responsible for alerting his family that a fire was burning in their Newburgh building.

Officials say the blaze broke out at around 11 p.m. and destroyed multiple buildings on Carter Street.

At least a dozen residents made it out of the building safely, authorities said. Many residents are now displaced.

The young boy who lived in one of the buildings affected by the fire says he woke up his family so they could evacuate to safety.

The boy says he was awakened by his cousin's screams coming from the apartment downstairs.

"Downstairs, I heard them saying, 'There's a fire,' so I got my parents. After that, I got my sister. And then, we just got out of the house because we didn't know what happened. All we saw was fire and policemen and then we found out what happened," Anthony Trujillo said.

It's believed the fire started in the rear of the neighboring house and spread. The heat melted the siding of a building two houses away.

Just last week, another fire, just a block away, burned through a row of houses. That blaze was believed to have been started by squatters in an abandoned building.

Back on Carter Street, it was an emotional time as residents tried to salvage what they could.

Trujillo says he's trying to keep things in perspective.

"All my stuff is gone, but we can still replace it. It's like, I'm sad, but not that sad, because we can still replace it," he said.

The Red Cross is assisting the families that have been displaced.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation, but it is not believed to be suspicious.


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