December 17, 2007
Ketchikan, Alaska - A home fire has claimed the lives of three Ketchikan children over the weekend. The two youngest children, ages 3 and 5, were pronounced dead on the scene and a seventeen year-old who was transported in critical condition for medical care was pronounced dead Saturday evening. The children succumbed to smoke inhalation.
Twelve year-old Alysha Credito was transported by Airlift Northwest to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, Washington in critical condition Saturday and was later transferred to Children's Hospital in Seattle.
The deceased have been identified as three year-old Kristinenoell Credito Harris, five year-old Denbert Credito, and seventeen year-old Debertson Bertolano.
The Ketchikan Fire Department received a call reporting the house fire at 120 Tuttle Way at 6:10 AM on December 15th. Tuttle Way is a wooden walk-way Street in the 2100 Block of Tongass Avenue. The caller reported "people trapped inside!"
The Ketchikan Fire Department had units on scene within 3 minutes, set-up fire suppression lines and crews entered the building to search for the reported victims. Incident commanders with the Ketchikan Fire Department requested a "second-alarm and mutual-aid" from the South Tongass Volunteer Fire Department and the North Tongass Volunteer Fire Department.
According to information released by the Ketchikan Fire Department, the fire was located in the kitchen area of the main level. The fire was quickly brought under control as crews entered the top floor of the home which is where the children were reportedly located.
The children's mother, Lodivinia Credito, was at work when the fire started, according to authorities in Ketchikan. A fifth child, a 14-year-old boy, was unharmed as he had spent the night at a friend's home.
Crews located and removed the four unconscious children, ages 3, 5, 12 and 17, from the top floor of the structure within minutes and transported the victims to Ketchikan General Hospital. The top floor was choked with smoke.
A fifth person, Jeff Williams, was removed by two members of the Ketchikan Police Department through a window on the main floor of the residence and was uninjured. Williams is Credito's brother-in-law.
A sixth resident, an unidentified adult male, of the lower apartment of the house self-evacuated from the basement level of the house along with his dog and both were uninjured.
As a precaution, three members of the Ketchikan Fire Department were sent to Ketchikan General Hospital for medical evaluation for smoke inhalation following their rescues of the four upper floor victims. All were treated and released. One member of the Ketchikan Police Department received an arm injury during the rescue operation and received treatment at Ketchikan General Hospital.
A total of thirty-two Ketchikan Fire Department members responded, five members of the South Tongass Volunteer Fire Department, and nine North Tongass Fire Department members.
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