Fire victim succumbs to injuries

Posted at 3:41 PM, Jan 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-24 15:09:14-05

The father of a bedridden victim killed in a southwest Denver home fire has died, Denver Health officials said Saturday. 

Ralph Andrade III, 72, fell on his head while trying to escape his burning house.

The fire took place in the area of W. Stanford Avenue and Kipling Street

Denver Fire is investigating the cause of the blaze, but said several Good Samaritans helped the older couple to get out alive.

"They're the reason people are alive," said neighbor Brian Bender, who heard the commotion after the house was fully engulfed.

Dennis Henrickson was one of the neighbors who ran to help, putting ladders against the house and trying to assist the couple getting out of the second-story window.

"I put the ladder up to window, and I tried to go up there, but the smoke was so bad that I was losing my breath and kept having to go down," said Henrickson. "So, I ran around front to get the firefighter's attention and when I came back they were out."

Henrickson had to be monitored at the hospital for smoke inhalation, but said he didn't want to be considered a hero.

"This was a community effort," he said. "This was about Ralph and Josie. They are the best neighbors."

Friends and neighbors had begun leaving flowers in front of the Andrade house to pay their respects. A GoFundMe account was started to raise money for medical and other expenses.

A fund has also been set up at Bank of the West to help the family get back on their feet. It’s called the Andrade Family Fund.

Anyone wanting to help contribute household items like blankets, linens, clothing, diapers or  furniture may do so at:

  • Governor’s Ranch Elementary School  -  5354 S. Field Street  -  Littleton, CO  (9am til 3pm until March 1st.)
  • Heritage Christian Center  -  14401 E. Exposition Avenue  -  Aurora, CO (9am til 4pm until February 15th)


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