December 25, 2013 Updated: December 26, 2013 at 10:28 am
PUEBLO — A woman and her 3-year-old son died during a fire at a southern Colorado apartment complex on Christmas Day, authorities said.
The fire reported at 4:36 a.m. Wednesday engulfed three apartment units, the Pueblo Chieftain reported. Firefighters were able to contain the blaze in about an hour, Pueblo police said.
A mother, her two children and a grandmother lived in one apartment that caught fire. The mother, identified by the Pueblo County coroner as Natasha Fiore, 25, and her son Elijah Pino died.
The grandmother was in critical condition at a Pueblo hospital, and the other child, who is 5, was airlifted to a Colorado Springs hospital, the newspaper reported.
People in the other two apartments made it out safely, but a firefighter was hospitalized with what may be a broken bone in his leg, police said.
Samantha Siore-Penaranda, Fiore's sister, told the newspaper that she learned of her sibling's death around 9 a.m. and couldn't believe it.
"My sister meant the world to me," Siore-Penaranda said. "She was the baby sister, and my only sister. She was loving, caring and always tried to make the best of things. It's been a tough Christmas for us."
The Colorado Bureau of Investigation and Pueblo police were investigating the fire. Investigators say arson has been ruled out as a possible cause.
"Everything in there was burned up pretty good, and we need to continue to investigate," said Eric Gonzales of Pueblo police.