A father and three children have lost almost everything they own in a house fire Monday morning.
The Pueblo Fire Department says that the house, located on the 1000 block of Cedar Street on Pueblo's south side, is expected to be a total loss.
Fifteen firefighters just after 7 a.m. responded to the fire, which the fire department called "devastating." The fire had spread to 40 percent of the home when the first crews arrived on scene. The family living in the home did not have renter's insurance, and lost most of their possessions.
The 1,000-foot home was valued at approximately $37,000.
"Initial reports indicate that the man was able to evacuate the children to safety, and then returned into the structure to retrieve items and attempt to stop the fire spread," Assistant Chief Joe Sena said. "Although this may have seemed prudent at the time, it goes against our efforts in educating the public to never re-enter a burning structure...under any circumstance. Nationally, more people are injured or killed re-entering a structure than our saved. Hence our mantra: 'get out and stay out.'"
The fire department said the man's efforts to douse the flames himself may have actually caused the fire to spread.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but the fire department believes it started accidentally in one of the children's bedrooms.
The father and an adult woman were taken to the hospital for evaluation after the fire.