OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- Two children died in a fire in Overland Park early Tuesday morning. Their names, according to a GoFundMe account set up for the family, are Henry Jr. and Alexis, ages five and three.
Henry Jr. was about to start kindergarten, his grandmother told FOX 4's Robert Townsend.
The family says relatives set up the GoFundMe account seeking $30,000 to help the family. As of Tuesday afternoon, almost $2,000 had been raised.
The Mendoza-Carter Family has suffered a tragic loss in a house fire that took place on August 15, 2017 and took the lives of 2 precious children. Henry, Jr and Alexis. Henry, Sr and Allyse Carter are recovering from injuries. Everything is still under investigation and we have very few answers at this time. The family is struck with shock and grief. All donations will be used for expenses to help bring Henry Jr and Alexis eternal peace, they are now together forever looking down upon you.
Please share to help support Connie Perez-Mendoza's family in this time of need. Anything at all will go a long way. We thank you for your kindness and generosity during this time of tragic loss. My name is Chila Perez-Thompson and this is for my niece. We are all here for you and love you.
It was around 2:30 a.m. when the fire broke out at Colonial Gardens Apartment Complex near 88th and Broadmoor Street. The fire quickly became a two-alarm fire when responding units heard reports that people were trapped.
The first units on the scene were greeted by several burn patients along with heavy smoke and fire coming from the front and back of the two-story apartment building.
Paramedics began treating the burn patients, while firefighters began an aggressive search and fire attack.
Once inside, firefighters found the two children dead. Their mother was taken to the hospital with minor burns and smoke inhalation. The fire chief said there were no working smoke detectors or a sprinkler system. According to Jason Rhodes, Overland Park Fire Department spokesman, the last inspection for the apartment complex was May of 2017. He said managers provide the fire department with documentation on smoke detectors. Rhodes said any detectors would have been destroyed in the fire. Alarms were heard sounding from other apartments.
FOX 4's Melissa Stern talked to Rhodes Tuesday afternoon. Look for more from him on the inspections, which occur every 24-28 months and include on-site inspection of common areas, but not individual units.
In addition to the children's mother, two men who jumped from the top floor and sustained severe burns and injuries, were taken to the hospital along with one more who had minor burns.
The battalion chief on the scene said it will take investigators some time to determine what sparked the fire. Fire investigators are also still working to determine where the fire started.
"The guys worked hard and they took their lumps," Overland Park Fire Chief Bryan Dehner. "I mean this is kind of those calls that we kind of work without any safeties on... So guys extending themselves. We had a lot of building to search, a lot of people to do it, but it took its toll on some folks, and we're just going to treat them to make sure they're okay.
Two firefighters were treated for heat-related issues. One was treated at the scene of the fire. The second was transported the hospital but is listed in good condition. Four units were damaged by the fire, but firefighters evacuated all of the building’s 12 units until building safety inspectors can evaluate the structure. The Red Cross was on the scene and assisting 15 to 20 residents with lodging.