WEST ALLIS (WITI) — Fire officials say two bodies were pulled from a West Allis home where a fire broke out overnight. Two children were killed in the fire.
The fire broke out around 3:30 a.m. Sunday, March 17th at a home near 57th and Lapham.
Officials tell FOX6 News when firefighters arrived on the scene, the duplex was fully engulfed. A second floor ceiling collapsed a short time after a young child and a teenager were removed from the building.
“Just looking straight forward, you could see how bright the flames were from the street,” neighbor Samantha Jokucan said.
Fire officials say two brothers, ages 13 and four narrowly escaped the duplex where the fire broke out. Fire officials are calling the actions of the 13-year-old heroic.
“He went and found his little brother in the fire and carried his little brother to safety. Then returned to the structure to find another brother of theirs who was inside the building and was driven back by the flames,” a fire official told FOX6 News.
As the boys recover at the hospital, thoughts and prayers are being sent to two others in the home after their bodies were pulled from the duplex.
Family members told FOX6 News the deceased victims are children — identified via the family as 14-year-old Michael Gonzales and his friend, 14-year-old Isaiha Kobow. George Gonzales is an uncle to one of the children.
“He’s gone. There’s nothing we can do. He was a good kid who loved his grandma. He was always there. He never wanted to leave her side,” Gonzales said.
The family is understandably devastated by this fire.
“We’re in shock. That’s all we can say,” Gonzales said.
On Sunday evening, Isaiha Kobow’s father, William Kobow and more than 100 friends and family members flooded the street near the scene of the fire. An outpouring of support followed in the form of a vigil.
It was an act of love and togetherness in a time of crisis for families in mourning and agony.
“It’s still not real to me, you guys. Thank you for being here though,” William Kobow said.
Officials say it does not appear there were any adults at the home when the fire broke out. It is unclear whether there were any smoke detectors in the home.
The cause of this fire remains under investigation — and officials have not yet released the names of those who survived the fire.
The Medical Examiner’s Office says the names of the fire survivors may be released as early as Monday.