Calif. apartment fire kills 8-year-old from Durham

July 25, 2010 9:00:00 PM PDT
An early morning fire at a Northern California apartment complex killed an 8-year-old girl who was visiting relatives and injured 10 others Sunday, a San Jose fire official said. The girl, identified by the coroner's office as Adileni Gomez Macedo, died after a three-alarm fire broke out around 1:42 a.m. Sunday, said San Jose Fire Capt. Debbie Ward.

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Firefighters arrived at the scene six minutes after getting the call, but found the ground floor garden-style apartment fully engulfed, according to Ward.

"Enroute they found out a little girl was trapped," said Ward.

As one group of firefighters worked to knock down the fire, a second group found the little girl unconscious in a back bedroom. She was taken to Santa Clara Valley Medical Center where she was pronounced dead a short while later.

The girl, from Durham, N.C., was apparently visiting relatives when the fire broke out. Two adults and five children were inside the apartment unit when the fire started, according to Ward.

The exact cause of the little girl's death has not been determined, but coroner's investigator Rosa Vega said an autopsy was planned for Monday.

The 10 other residents of the complex who were injured were treated for minor injuries, including smoke inhalation.

The more than 50 firefighters responding to battle the blaze had it controlled shortly after 2:10 a.m., Ward said.

At least 25 people in the 30 to 40 unit apartment complex were displaced. The Silicon Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross was providing food and shelter.

A smoke detector was found in the apartment after the blaze, but Ward was not sure if it had activated.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, with fire and police investigators expected to be at the apartment throughout the day.

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