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5-year-old dies in Akron house fire


A fire killed a 5-year-old boy and sent three members of his family to hospitals early Sunday morning.

It was the city's first fire death of the year and came during a wave of seven home fires in 30 hours, said Edward Sturkey, public information officer for the Akron Fire Department.

The fatal fire happened about 2 a.m. on Albrecht Avenue in the Ellet section of Akron, he said.

"There was heavy fire and smoke when the guys got there," said Sturkey.

He said the home had fire detectors but he did not know if they were working.

Ronald Rickerson and Sandra Orantes-Cruz escaped the burning house with one child, Sturkey said. Firefighters rescued two other children who were trapped in the burning home. Owen Orantes-Cruz, one of the children rescued, was alive when he was pulled from the fire. He later died.

"With a fire of this magnitude, the fact the mom, dad and two other children got out alive is great," Sturkey said.

Three of the four surviving family members were taken to area hospitals for treatment. Their conditions were not available Sunday night.

The fire is under investigation, Sturkey said.

Investigators were spread thin Sunday, examining the other six fires that erupted in just over a day. In one of the blazes, two firefighters fell through a floor and were slightly injured.

2007 Oct 28