Girl killed in fire about to begin pre-K; family's only child

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WACO, Texas (KWTX) The girl who died after she was pulled from a burning home was 4-year-old Areli Jaramillo, News 10 has confirmed.

A child was critically injured in a house fire on Burnett Avenue in Waco. (Photo by Bill Gowdy)

Relatives said Jaramillo was the family's only child and was getting ready to start pre-kindergarten at Bells Hill Elementary Schools.

News 10 has learned the girl was inside the burning home with her mother when the blaze erupted. The woman, identified as Julie Jaramillo, told firefighters she had no idea how the fire started. She suffered burn wounds on both elbows.

The fire erupted Tuesday in the 2800 Block of Burnett Avenue. The Waco Fire Department was dispatched at 5:09 p.m. When firefighters arrived at the scene about five minutes later, a police officer and a family members alerted them to a child trapped inside the home.

The Waco Fire Department incident report states entry into the home was "delayed due to furniture behind" a door.

"Firefighters initiated a fire attack to knock the fire down and also a search ensued," said Waco Fire Chief Bobby Tatum.

Tatum said heavy flames and smoke were emanating from the front portion of the home. Firefighters cut a hole in the roof to get the heat and smoke away from the trapped child.

About two-to-three minutes into the rescue, firefighters found the girl in a room, unresponsive. Firefighters pulled the girl out of the home approximately seven minutes after the first unit arrived at the scene, the incident report states.

"She was not breathing on her own when she was rescued from the house and CPR was initiated en route to the hospital," said Tatum.

"I kept on asking 'where's the baby at, where's Aurelia?' and they said she was in the house," said neighbor Jessica Martinez.

Martinez drove the girl's mother to Baylor Scott & White Hillcrest Medical Center.

"They didn't let me go back there to see Aurelia ...they let us know that she passed away, she didn't make it," said Martinez. "(I'm) Sad, and right now we're going to go back to the hospital, right now I know that Judy and her husband need somebody there by the side of them because it's a sad moment, you know."

Martinez said this wasn't the only sad moment for the couple who previously lost another child.

"It's the second child that they've lost," she said. "It's sad to lose somebody."

A tight-knit neighborhood, residents like Martinez, who says the victim's father is her landlord, are shocked by the tragedy; many called 911 and tried to go into the home to save the little girl they say was crying for help, but couldn't get to her.

Crime scene tape now surrounds the home as Fire Marshals investigate what sparked the deadly blaze.

"Firefighters are doing as little as possible inside--just knocking down the fire, just making sure the fire's completely extinguished--but also leaving the area untouched so fire investigators can conduct an investigation to determine a cause," said Tatum.

Firefighters contained the blaze at about 5:22 p.m.