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Child rescued from closet during house fire in Lakewood; Girl and father hospitalized

Posted: 6:20 AM, Sep 09, 2016
Updated: 2016-09-09 20:48:05-04

LAKEWOOD, Colo. -- Firefighters rescued a 5-year-old girl hiding in a closet during a house fire early Friday morning.

Firefighters found the girl on the second floor of the home on Vassar Way, near Morrison Road and Kipling Parkway.

The girl and her father were taken to the hospital. There's no word yet on their conditions, but West Metro Fire Rescue said the father was injured.

The child's mother and a sibling were able to get out on their own.

Lakewood Fire believes the fire started on the home's deck but still have not determined an exact cause.

Crews said at an 11 a.m. news conference their first priority was getting the girl out of the house. Two firefighters were already in their protective gear, with oxygen flowing, when they arrived at the scene.

Firefighters Dave Dame and Seth Major were tasked with getting the girl out of the closet.

"As soon as the truck had come to a stop, they were off and running to the front door," said their commander, Lakewood Fire Lt. Klein. "Within 20 to 30 seconds they were upstairs and had located the little girl and were coming down the stairs."

The two firefighters said the fire was so hot their thermal imaging gear was blown out completely and they had to work together in order to be sure where they were as they entered the house.

"One of our best tools wasn't working very well for us," said Dame.

But the two reached the girl on the second floor of the home by yelling. She eventually responded.

"Unfortunately, she was hiding in the closet. She was terrified; she was a little difficult to coax out of the closet," Dame said. "But once we got her out into the hallway, we ran back to the front door, handed her off to other firefighters and they got her to the hospital."

Crews say they continue to investigate the fire.

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