LAS VEGAS -- Two children, ages 2 and 4, died in an early morning house fire Thursday in Las Vegas.
According to the Clark County Fire Department, the fire began just after 1 a.m. on Riley Street, which is near Ann Road and Durango Drive.
Officials say the children, identified by a family friend as 4-year-old Cruz Flores and 2-year-old Ella Flores, were trapped in a bedroom.
"He's a miracle child. He was born with a heart condition. He had an operation right after he was born," family friend Craig Freundlich said. "His little sister, Ella, was just a little princess."
Metro officers were first to arrive on scene and found the parents of the children, identified by a family friend as Tony Flores and Stephanie Parriera, outside trying to put out the flames with a hose.
A neighbor raced to the house when she heard their fire alarm go off. Angie Dennis says Tony Flores was frantically trying to do what he could with a water hose to get to the trapped children.
"My husband ran up and grabbed Tony, and his arms were black and hot, and you could tell that he was trying really hard to save his kids," Dennis said.
Officers tried to go inside, but the fire was too intense, according to officials.
"It's very difficult. It pulls on their heartstrings and they wish they could have done more to save some lives," Capt. Csaba Maczala with Metro Police said.
When firefighters arrived they were able to break a window and get into the bedroom. However, officials say it was too late. Both children were pronounced dead at the scene.
A friend told 8 News NOW that Flores suffered third-degree burns and is at University Medical Center.
"I want people to know that these people fought for their children's lives," Freundlich said.
Freundlich has known the Flores family for 20 years. He says Flores was face to face with flames to try to save his children.
"My friend is laying in UMC in the burn unit right now. Left arm, shoulder to fingers, including hands wrapped up. Right arm wrapped up. Feet burned. Hair singed," Freundlich said.
Friends will look after this family, 14-year-old Ryan Parriera, who by chance was staying with a friend Wednesday night, and a mother and father, devastated by this terrible loss.
Firefighters say the investigation is ongoing, but they believe the incident was an accident.
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