Dec 13, 2010 11:16 PM by Jeannette Hynes

UPDATE: 3-year-old boy dies in Pueblo apartment fire

The Pueblo County Coroner says the 3-year-old boy who died in an apartment fire Monday is Josiah Mendoza. 

The coroner will likely conduct an autopsy Tuesday.

The little boy was hiding in a closet of the apartment on West 13st Street when the fire started around 4 p.m.  Pueblo Police say the 18-year-old neighbor, who is also the babysitter, was hanging clothes outside when she saw smoke coming from inside the home.  The boy's Grandma and 8-year-old brother went in to the apartment to try to save him, but they were overcome by the smoke.  Doctors are treating the grandma for smoke inhalation.  A Pueblo Police officer pulled the 3-year-old out of the burning apartment.  Police tell News First 5 that the bedroom door was blocked, making it difficult for anyone to get in our out of the room. 

The Pueblo Fire Department says the fire appears to have started in a bedroom, burning a mattress and causing extensive smoke damage.

The Pueblo Fire Department is conducting an arson investigation and Pueblo Police are conducting a criminal investigation, which is standard procedure when a death during a fire occurs.

Early reports from the investigation indicate that the boy had matches easily available to him, and a battery was missing from a smoke detector. 


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