San Diego

10-Year-Old Boy Injured in Escondido Mobile Home Fire Surviving on Life Support, Family to Donate Organs

Nine family members were asleep inside a mobile home on West 15th Street when the fire began.

The family of a 5-year-old girl killed in a mobile home fire Thursday in Escondido is dealing with more heartbreaking news.

A family spokesperson told NBC 7 that Diego Flores, a 10-year-old boy injured in the fire, is brain dead and surviving on life support, and that the family has decided to donate his organs.

The spokesperson also said that Diego’s father, Domingo Flores, is in intensive care at UCSD Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Diego's 5-year-old niece, Ellie Orozco, died in the fire.

Escondido Fire Department investigators say that an unattended candle or faulty extension cord sparked the Christmas tree in the family's living room. They also say that the fire's destruction could have been limited.

The mobile home was without smoke detectors or a fire alarm, according to investigators.

The Escondido community is banding together to help a family suffering a horrific tragedy after a fire ripped through their mobile home, killing their 5-year-old daughter. NBC 7’s Dave Summers reports.

So compelled by this tragedy during the holidays, the Escondido community is stepping up to help.

“I couldn't process it. I was in shock,” Land and Water Restaurant owner Robert Ruiz said. 

Ellie's father, Felipe Orozco, works at the restaurant as a line cook. His two sons, Ethan and Enrique and wife Sandra were injured in the fire but survived.

“There is nothing you can replace a father-daughter relationship. I know how hurt he is right now,” Chef Brandon Nichols said.

Felipe was working Wednesday night before the fire sparked. By the time he got home, the damage was done.

“The guy is a little quiet guy, back there smiling and working really hard. He's the last person you would expect to have something like this happen to,” Ruiz said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation but it's believed to be electrical, possibly linked to an extension cord where the lights on a Christmas tree was plugged in.

Nine people had been asleep inside the home when the fire began.

Firefighters said they did not find smoke alarms.

At the Mormon Church Washington Chapel, where the family goes for services, they are collecting clothes and money.

Annie Martinez told NBC 7 she doesn't know the family but she just wanted to help.

“Christmas just came and I got a bunch of new stuff so I just gave away my old stuff,” Martinez said.

Samantha Villa, a mother of two said she heard about the church efforts through social media.

“My kids have so much of everything so I gave all their old stuff, because they got a bunch of new stuff for Christmas,” Villa said.

The restaurant where Felipe worked also sprang into action Thursday morning. They spread the word through social media, set up an online fundraiser and are accepting donations during restaurant hours.

Ten-year old Diego remained in the hospital Thursday night. He is the last of the victims still hospitalized.

Friends and neighbors of the family living in the mobile home have been dropping off teddy bears and other gifts in remembrance of the young girl.
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