FD: 2 people dead after Queen Creek house fire, investigation ongoing

Posted at 5:21 PM, Jan 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-26 14:55:52-05

Authorities say two people are dead after a fire broke out at a Queen Creek home.

The Queen Creek Fire Department received the call around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday after flames were spotted at the house near Ellsworth and Ocotillo roads. 

According to a fire spokesperson, there were two people inside the home at the time of the blaze. It was initially reported that only one person died, however, a Maricopa County Sheriff's Office spokesperson said a second body was later discovered. 

Both bodies were found on the second floor, authorities said. MCSO is investigating if arson played a role in the incident. 

Neighbors told ABC15 that a mother and her young son died in the fire, however, police have not confirmed these reports.

Queen Creek school officials sent a letter to students and families offering counseling to anyone that knew Josh Arnett, one of the victims of the fire, and his mother. School officials also commented that Josh had an older brother that was not at the home at the time of the fire. 

Scott Gifford, a neighbor of the victims, said that they were really nice people and he attempted to help the husband when he saw the home fully engulfed in flames. 

"I was yelling at him, saying 'Hey, do you need help?'" Gifford said. "I saw smoke coming out really bad...I asked him if anyone was inside and the father said he didn't know." 

Gifford explained that despite their best efforts, the heat prevented them from getting inside the home. 

"There was nothing we could do," Gifford said. "It was just too hot and too smoky. My heart goes out to him and it's the most tragic thing imaginable." 

A GoFundMe account has been set up to assist the family and the Queen Creek School District has t-shirts to purchase to show support for the family