Fort Worth firefighters promoting fire safety in wake of north side deaths

Firefighters will go door to door Thursday in two north Fort Worth neighborhoods to promote fire safety after two recent fires, one of which killed a mother and her 6-year-old daughter.

“While there are a number of factors that will affect the chances of surviving a house fire, it is a proven fact that the presence of working smoke detectors can increase the chance of survival by providing early warning should a fire occur,” Tim Hardeman of the Fort Worth Fire Department said in a news release issued Tuesday.

“When an uncontrolled fire occurs in a residence, time is of the essence. Once a fire reaches open flame stage, it will grow very rapidly. Minutes, or even seconds, can make a huge difference.”

On Friday, Elvia Arriola and one of her twin daughters, Gabriela Segoviano, died in a fire in a house in the 2600 block of Market Avenue where Arriola and the children were staying with friends.

Three days earlier, a father rescued two of his children after a fire started on the second floor of their home in the 1200 block of Northwest 15th Street.

Hardeman said smoke detectors were in the home on Northwest 15th, but it was unknown Tuesday whether working smoke detectors were inside the home where the mother and child perished.

Investigators said the fire was caused by an unspecified electrical malfunction in the attic, he said.

Reports indicate that one twin woke her mother during the night, and the mother saw that the back of the house was on fire. The home’s two residents, a man and woman, were awakened by the commotion and escaped with the twin girl who had awakened her mother.

The man tried to reach Gabriela by breaking a window at the back of the home, cutting his arm in the process, but could not reach her because of the fire and smoke, the release said.

Firefighters later found the bodies of Gabriela and her mother together near a door in the home’s front room.

Firefighters will canvass neighborhoods near the two fires from 10 a.m. to noon Thursday, offering to check smoke detectors, replace batteries if needed, or install a smoke detector free, the release said.

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