Neighbors risk lives to try to save family from burning house
DENVER-- The flames could be seen for miles and the heat was so intense it could be felt a block away. However, that did not stop several neighbors, now heroes, from risking their lives Tuesday evening to try and save another.
Ralph and Josie Andrade and their adult son Ralph Jr. were trapped inside their home after a fire started and quickly spread. It happened around 7 p.m. in the 9700 block of West Stanford Avenue, near West Quincy Avenue and South Kipling Street.
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Firefighters tried to save the couple while neighbors attempted to enter the home to save their son.
"The gentleman from next door had run to the front to try and get him out, but it was too late. He said the heat was just too bad and he couldn't see," said Antoinette Duran, the couple's daughter.
Duran is devastated by the death of her brother, but she's also in awe of what her neighbors and firefighters did to try to save her family.
Her father is on dialysis and had to be pushed head-first out of a second-story window to escape.
"My mom gave him a little push because she told him you either go or we're both going to die in here," she said.
Ralph Andrade landed on his head and underwent two surgeries. He's in stable condition, but is still not able to talk. But his family said he is responsive and able to communicate nonverbally.
Josie Andrade suffered serious smoke inhalation and remains hospitalized. A firefighter and three good Samaritans who were injured have been treated and released from the hospital.
Ralph Andrade Jr. suffered from multiple sclerosis and was wheelchair-bound.
Friends and neighbors of the family have started placing flowers outside the family's home.
Brian Bender lives across the street and didn't realize the home was on fire until it was too late.
"I feel terribly guilty. I just didn't hear everything right away," he said. "They're good people, good humans, and it's an honor to know them."
Friends and family have set up two crowdfunding pages to help the couple with expenses on GoFundMe and GiveSendGo.
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