GREENFIELD, Calif. — Seven people, including four children, were killed when an intense fire engulfed their triplex apartment in this small farming community north of King City in Monterey County, authorities said Tuesday.
Another potential victim, identified by an uncle as 9-year-old Freddie Pacheco, escaped when he was led from the burning structure by 17-year-old Ray Green Jr., son of a Greenfield police officer, Fire Chief Eddie Banuelos said.
"The fire was devastating," Banuelos said Monday. "It happened so quickly."
The fire chief said that 18 members of the Greenfield Volunteer Fire Department--manning two engines and a pickup truck--were on the scene within minutes of the 10:30 p.m. alarm Monday and quickly suppressed the blaze, confining it to the kitchen and living room of one of three units of a converted candy factory.
But for the residents, it was already too late.
"We found six victims in the living room," Banuelos said. "They were rather close to one another. We had one girl who was in one of the bedrooms."