3 dead in home fire northeast of Casa Grande

CASA GRANDE, AZ - Three bodies were found at the home of the chief surgeon at Casa Grande Regional Medical Center after an early-morning fire, according to authorities.

Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu says the bodies are of two adults and a child.

He says they were badly burned and their identities and cause of death will need to be determined by the county medical examiner's office.

Sheriff's officials and fire crews responded to the blaze in the Desert Highlands subdivision northeast of Casa Grande about 6:30 a.m. Friday.

A neighbor reportedly called 911 and tried to kick in the front door and smashed a window to yell to the people inside.

"My wife started calling their home while my daughter dialed 911 and I got in my vehicle and flew down that way," said Tony Chirumbolo.

Babeu said he was told the home was fully engulfed by fire when fire crews arrived and they could almost see through the house. He said anyone inside had no chance of surviving.

One adult's body was found in a bedroom, a child's in another bedroom and the second adult's body was found in the garage.

Babeu said a husband, wife and 11-year-old child live in the home, but the medical examiner will need to confirm their identities.

While he could not confirm the identities of the victims, Babeu said the chief surgeon of Casa Grande Regional Medical Center lives at the home and staff responded there when she did not show up for surgery this morning. He also said the child was about to have a birthday.

"I don't think it's going to sink in probably until tomorrow. Especially since tomorrow is supposed to be the son's birthday party," said Chirumbolo.

Kathy Walsh works with the woman who lived in the house.

"We're very very saddened by it at work," she said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.


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