Burbank firefighters and police responded to a fire in the 1600 block of Grismer at 2:12 am on Wednesday for a report of a multi-family dwelling fire with several people trapped.
Burbank police were first on the scene and, according to a release, were told by neighbors that young children were trapped inside the apartment. Officers went inside and entered the locked apartment, where they could hear the children yelling for help and were quickly overcome by the thick, black smoke from the fire.
After forcing the bedroom door open, the officers grabbed the children (ages 3, 5, and 6) and quickly brought them outside for paramedics to treat them. All three were taken to the hospital to be evaluated. A further search by firefighters found no adults in the residence.
Five police officers in total were also transported to the hospital for smoke inhalation and non-life-threatening injuries, and all five have since been released.
Police later found the parents, who told officers they had locked the three children in their apartment before leaving to walk to a local convenience store.
Police arrested the parents, identified as 38-year-old Aldo Prado and 27-year-old Jennifer Ray, both residents of Burbank, for child neglect, a felony, and are being held in lieu of a $100,000 bail. Both are expected to appear in court on November 4 with formal charges pending review by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
A fire department post on social media stated that “The efforts of both Fire and Police mitigated further damage to the structure, and the fire is under investigation.”
Firefighters had the fire knocked down by 2:29 am. Officials did not know if there were working smoke detectors in the residence at the time of the fire.
Firefighters had the fire knocked down by 2:29 am. The cause is still under investigation.