Elderly Frederick couple perish in house fire

Frederick_An elderly couple was killed in an early morning house fire in Frederick on Thursday.  Fire officials say they received a call at about 2:30 a.m. reporting of smoke coming out of a home at 15th and Grand.  The entire department responded, along with help from Manitou and Davidson Fire Departments, but it was too late for 74-year-old Enrique "Henry" Ramierez and 63-year-old Lydia Ramierez.  Both were overcome by smoke inhalation.

The fire chief says that the cause of the fire is an electrical short in the hallway of the house.  Joyce Diaz told 7News it something she never wants to see again.  Diaz witnessed the entire event, from smoke escaping from every available crack in the house to the flames engulfing it.  She says it took the fire department three hours to completely extinguish the fire because it kept flaring back up.  "I'm telling you, it's really devastating," she said.  "I don't know what happened to the house, but I know it was in blaze inside.  I told the fire department, I said, 'My God, get back, that's blazed up,' and then Joe, he said, 'Man, look at that, it's all in fire again.'"

Lydia Ramierez's daughter Rachel told 7News that her mother had been asleep on the sofa, had apparently awoken to smoke, and ran to the rear of the house to wake Henry when smoke overcame them both.  "She would have had to go out of her room, into the hallway, through the dining room, through the kitchen, to get to Henry," she said.  "I just know that was what she was trying to do was get Henry out.  I just know it."

A man walking through the neighborhood smelled smoke from the burning house and called for help, and although the fire department was there in less than five minutes, it was too late.  The Ramierez's family refused to give up, though.  "Mikey cut his hands," said Joyce.  "He cut his hands.  He was trying to break the glass and get his dad out."

Joyce lost two close friends but says she knows they're now in a better place.  "Like I told her daughter, Rachel, last night, I said, 'Two perfect angles went to heaven tonight, together.'  And I told Joey, I said, 'You know, your mama couldn't live without your daddy, and your daddy couldn't live without her,' so I said, 'The good Lord seen fit to take them both.'"

Joyce said that the most upsetting part of the devastating fire is not the fact that she lost her friends, but that a crowd that had gathered as the fire was being contained became unruly - so out of control that police officers were forced to intervene.