DENVER -- Two little boys are fighting for their lives after a fire broke out in their Denver apartment about 9:40 a.m. Tuesday.
Neighbors said the boys had been left alone and the Denver Police Department has launched a criminal investigation.
Cellphone video captured the chaotic moments as firefighters unexpectedly discovered the little boys inside the burning apartment at 355 S. Eliot St.
“Here, give him to me!” yelled an unidentified firefighter as he grabbed one child and raced to get him help.
“He had the baby in his arms. Then, he ran the baby 100 yards down there. ‘Open the ambulance door! Open the ambulance door!’ Then, they gave him (oxygen) mask,” witness David Hinojoso said.
“They didn’t look too good, but hopefully, they’re alright. They’re just little babies, 3 or 4, I would say,” said another witness Jarred Stringe.
Witnesses watched the firefighters in action before anyone realized children were inside.
“Excellent job by breaking through the doors really fast and getting those kids out. They saved their lives, hopefully. Pray to God. God bless their family,” witness Dedra Heyboer said.
The children had been inside the apartment at least 15 minutes when firefighters found them during a secondary search of the home.
“These children were found in really inconspicuous places in the home, so they are believed to have been hiding. I’m not sure if that had anything to do with the fire,” Denver Fire spokeswoman Melissa Taylor said.
The boys’ mom, who friends identified as Rocio Arroyo, works at a McDonald’s across the street. It was her co-workers who called to tell her that her home was on fire. She then raced home.
“She pulled up and she collapsed in the middle of the street and they took her in the ambulance,” Stringe said.
She was taken Denver Health Medical Center, where the boys also were taken.
“Hopefully they’ll be alright,” said one neighbor who only gave his first name John.
There are two concurrent investigations: One as firefighters search for a cause and two as police look into a possible crime. Friends said the boys are in critical condition. Denver Health did not confirm how they are doing, but it did say Arroyo was treated and released.
Firefighters remind parents to tell their kids if there is ever a fire at home, get out immediately and don’t hide.