Christmas Tree Fire Kills Father And His Three Children

A California father and three of his children were killed when an electrical fire tore through their apartment in the middle of the night. Investigators determined the blaze, which started around 1 a.m. on Friday (December 27), was sparked by a Christmas tree.

Juan Moreno, 41, managed to escape the flames along with his wife, infant child, and 11-year-old daughter. When Juan realized that three of his kids were still trapped inside, he rushed back into the apartment building to rescue them. Unfortunately, Juan never made it out and was pronounced dead along with Maria Moreno, 12, Isaac Moreno, 8, and Janessa Moreno, 4.

“As a father myself, going back in would be something that I think a lot of us would probably think about doing and would end up doing,” said Lt. Nate Miller with the Hemet Police Department. “Unfortunately, it didn’t work out in this case. The fire was raging.”

About 40 people had to be evacuated from their homes as firefighters put out the flames.

"This tragedy underscores how quickly a fire can spread. Smoke alarms are a key part of a home fire escape plan," City of Hemet Fire Chief Scott Brown said. "Smoke alarms provide that critical early warning so you can get out quickly and are an important part of a home fire escape plan."

A relative created a GoFundMe page to raise money for the three surviving members of the Moreno family.

Photo: GoFundMe