ARDEN-ARCADE, Calif. — A 3-year-old boy has died in an Arden area apartment complex fire, according to an update from Sacramento Metro Fire and the Sacramento County Sheriff's Office.
The two-alarm house fire was reported just before 10 a.m. near the intersection of Northrop and Fulton Avenues in Sacramento. Upon arrival, firefighters saw smoke and fire coming from the back of the four-plex apartment unit.
Several neighbors saw the chaos unfold, including 17-year-old Malakai Polk, who said he ran over to try and help before fire crews arrived.
"I was thinking about going inside and trying to get whoever I could, but I couldn't because the smoke... so I started coughing and backed up," he said.
Sacramento Metro Fire Captain Parker Wilbourn said a 5-year-old boy, and the parents were taken to an area hospital.
"Our hearts are heavy as a community going through this tragic event," Wilbourn said. "We want to figure out what exactly happened today so we can hopefully prevent something like this from happening in the future."
Sacramento County Sheriff's spokesperson Sgt. Rod Grassmann said his office is investigating whether there was criminal neglect component to the fire.
"My understanding is that a three and five year old were inside. They might've had access to a lighter and that's perhaps how the fire started," Grassmann said. "The parent was outside of the structure, came inside when they saw the fire and they were able to grab the five-year-old boy, but not the three year old."
Wilbourn confirmed a dog died in the fire. Sacramento City Fire assisted in fighting the fire.
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