PINION HILLS (CBSLA.com) — Authorities Tuesday continued to investigate the cause of fatal residential fire.
The fire erupted just after 11 p.m. Monday on the back porch of a home in the 1800 block of Nielson Road, according to the San Bernardino County Fire Department.
Firefighters said a female resident was awakened by a noise, and discovered the back of the home was on fire.
She removed a woman from the home and attempted to re-enter but was overcome by smoke.
Upon firefighters’ arrival, crews unsuccessfully attempted to rescue a man in a wheelchair trapped inside.
According to firefighters, it took just over an hour to contain flames in the 3,000-square-foot home.
Due to a lack of hydrants in the area, firefighters were forced to rely on a water-shuttling operation.
After the blaze was extinguished, authorities pronounced a man and five dogs dead at the scene.
CBS2’s Tom Wait reported the victim has been identified as Alvino Orozco, 82.
Wait spoke with the victim’s son, Matt Orozco, who said it was his sister who woke to fire, sucessfully rescuing their 92-year-old great aunt but unable to save the family pets and their father, who was wheelchair-bound, from the flames.
“She’s having a hard time. I don’t know that the magnitude has quite hit her yet. She’s understandably overcome with some guilt,” Orozco said.
“At some point she had to make the decision to get herself out. She started to become burned. She just had to make a very tough decision to get out of the house.”
Orozco said he’s also trying to grapple with the reality of losing his father — a man who served in the Navy, who owned a business and, most importantly, loved his kids and grandkids.
“You almost hope that you wake up — but at some point we are going to have to move forward and see what we can do to cope,” he said.
Fire investigators are not saying yet whether the fire started inside or outside of the home .
Officials reported the residence did have working smoke detectors; however, they did not activate until the female resident began to wake others in the home.
The San Bernardino County Fire Department and the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Office’s Arson and Bomb Unit are investigating the cause of the fire.