Sole Survivor Of Northeast House Fire Dies From Injuries

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POSTED: Monday, February 14, 2011 - 5:24pm

UPDATED: Monday, February 14, 2011 - 7:51pm

5th Person Dies From House Fire in January

EL PASO— The sole survivor of a Northeast house fire in January has died. 

A nurse had said Luis Manuel Matos, 72, was in stable condition at a Lubbock Burn Center. Matos' wife and three grandchildren were also killed when their home was engulfed in flames on the 10000 block of Wolverine. 

Matos was the fifth victim to die from the house fire. His death is being attributed to burns sustained from the fire, and possibly from smoke inhalation. 

The El Paso Fire Department's Public Information Officer, John E. Concha, said there have been five confirmed fire-related deaths in the city so far compared to 11. 

Firefighters said Monica Matos, 55, and her grandson Damian Jones, 9, died while they were taken to Beaumont Army Medical Center. Two other children, ages 10 and 14, were also killed in the fire. 

Neighbor Joseph Marshall heard and saw the deadly fire unfold in front of his eyes.

"My neighbor woke me up and I came out here and saw flames going up really bad. He was trying to get the iron bars off that back window. You could hear the children in there yelling and it took a while to get those things off. As soon as it was off the fireman crawled through the window and started handing the children out through the window," Marshall said in January.

Marshall said the neighborhood will never be the same.

"Those kids brought something special to the neighborhood. Everybody knew them. The grandfather was always willing to lend a hand to anybody, and you can't replace that anymore," he had said.

Fire Investigators have classified the cause of the fire as accidental. The fire started in the interior of the home near the front door..

El Paso Fire Department Spokesman John Concha also said last month that a combination of window bars, furniture, flames and no smoke alarms trapped the family inside.

"Smoke alarms are very important. These are what's going to give you those valuable seconds to get out," Concha said. "Go home tonight and check to see if your smoke alarm is working. Test the button." 

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