What to Know
- The deadly house fire happened at around 12:25 a.m. on May 6 at a home on a cul-de-sac on Coralwood Court in Chula Vista.
- Four people were inside the house: a woman, man, and the man's two children.
- Family members have identified the father as Jesus Suro, and the children as 4-year-old Joshua and 5-year-old Gabriel.
NBC 7 has learned the names of the two boys tragically killed in a house fire Thursday, and the name of their father who was badly burned trying to rescue them from the blaze.
A memorial on the curb outside the burnt home on Coralwood court features candles with the letters "J" and "G" on them. Family members tell NBC 7 they're dedicated to 4-year-old Joshua and 5-year-old Gabriel.
A family friend identified the father as Jesus Suro. The La Mesa-Spring Valley School District said Suro was a dedicated paraprofessional at Avondale Elementary School where one of his sons was also a student.
Suro was taken from the burning home to the UC San Diego Burn Center for treatment. Chula Vista Fire Department Capt. Linda D’Orsi said he made it out of the home safely but was burned when he went back inside to try and rescue his boys.
"I think every parent would do that. They would think, "Oh, my God. I need to save my kids,' and it's their first reaction to think of their children first, and it's so sad that he couldn't get back in there," neighbor Jennifer Griggs told NBC 7 Friday.
Suro came back to the home Friday afternoon. He had bandages visible on his head and hand. He was seen examining the outside of the home, and sat down on the curb next to the memorial outside.
Friends, neighbors and community members have been stopping by the home over the last two days to add flowers, balloons, toy cars and teddy bears to the sidewalk memorial.
"Rest in Heaven, sweetheart," one card read.
An entire community is coming to terms with tragedy after two children were killed in an overnight house fire in Chula Vista.
The fire broke out shortly after midnight Thursday on Coralwood Court. A woman who is unrelated to Suro and his children was also in the home, and she made it out without injury, according to CVFD.
Family friends and neighbors had trouble processing the tragic news.
“They were great little boys. [Their dad] played with them a lot. My boys played with them. They always laughed, and I can’t imagine how he will deal with this. I don’t – that was his whole world. It was," Debra Combs, a former roommate of the kids' father, told NBC 7 on Thursday.
Combs, whose 6-year-old twin boys used to play with the children, had nothing but great things to say about the family.
"I wouldn’t mind being his kid. He would take them places, he would make sure they were OK," she said. "He would dress them up so cute. Most men don’t care but he had them dressing so cute always.”
"I just hope that it brings them a slight bit of joy to know that their community is here to support them," neighbor Yasmin Hernandez said. Hernandez came by the home Thursday afternoon with her kids and added to the shrine. "We just wanted to come and pay our respects to the family. I can't imagine what the mom and dad are going through."
Next-door neighbor Rose Chao knew the kids as sweet and loving.
“They were very happy. They were always out playing and riding trikes. They were sweet little kids," Chao said.
Chao said she woke up shortly after the fire sparked and saw the CVFD's response unfold.
"It was very traumatic thing to see, I know they’re all going to be very bereaved for quite some time," she said.
"When they told me the two little kids died I just sat for a minute," neighbor Eliza Schultz said. "I couldn't imagine that happening. I have a little brother."
Investigators are still piecing together the timeline of the fire. They are also looking into whether the home was equipped with smoke detectors.
The Chula Vista Police Department is not involved in the investigation.
Witnesses say it appeared as though the fire started in a downstairs play room, and some believed that's where the kids were when the fire started.