NewsRegion C Palm Beach CountyWest Palm Beach


1 child dead, 2 injured in mobile home fire near West Palm Beach

Posted at 12:04 PM, Jun 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-11 17:30:15-04

SUBURBAN WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- At 9:15 a.m., Sunday firefighters responded to reports of a fire inside the Holiday Ranch Mobile Home Park. 

Evelyn Alymeda who says her cousin got a phone call Sunday morning that her house was on fire.

"She rushed to the house and her husband was able to get out with two kids because the neighbor was able to help them get out, but they couldn't find the little one," Alymeda said. 

The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office says the homeowner was alerted by a neighbor that his residence was on fire, while he and his children were sleeping.

The owner and his neighbor broke the glass of a rear window and rescued two children from inside, ages 8 and 9. They were transported to St. Mary's Medical Center for treatment of severe burns and were later transferred to Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami.

While rescue efforts were underway, a third child, age 7, was located inside a bedroom and was pronounced deceased at the scene.

The family identified her as Elizabeth Rodriguez.

"Pretty much the entire family can't believe what has happened and we are just at a loss for words like we can't believe what is going on," Alymeda said.

Relatives have gathered to support the parents.

"I saw him (the father) today, I gave him a hug. I cried with him as well." said uncle Josue Guifarro. "It's a tragedy for him."

He had this to say about Elizabeth: "She was very sweet, she was always saying that she loved me. she would always let me carry her and yeah, um…memories.”

Firefighters were able to bring the fire under control and keep it from spreading to other nearby homes. 

Deputies are still investigating what led up to the fire and there is an active death investigation.

"The family said the trailer had been having ongoing electrical issues in that you couldn't use certain things that required electricity at the same time," according to a Department of Children and Families report.

The family had no prior involvement with DCF.

“The loss of any child brings forward feelings of indescribable grief and sadness. Elizabeth’s loss is unimaginable. Our thoughts are with Elizabeth’s family and loved ones during this difficult time,” a spokesperson for DCF said.