Burned toddlers start treatment in Sacto

June 8, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
A tragedy at a day care center in Mexico ended with three children sent to a northern California hospital for emergency treatment. The toddlers survived a fire that killed 44 children but they were badly burned.

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The parents of the three burn victims appreciate all that is being done for their kids free of charge. For the first time, they spoke out Monday, acknowledging they face a long and painful road to recovery.

A team of pediatric burn specialists at Shriners Hospital in Sacramento are attending to three of the young children who survived Friday's deadly fire at an Hermosillo, Mexico, daycare.

The parents of the toddlers are thankful the kids are alive but are praying for more miracles. They say they have no hard feelings for the day care center.

"The love that they are receiving, the care? It was an accident. And, it was an accident that did not start in the child care," said Adriana Villegas.

It was a chaotic scene as fire ripped through a warehouse and the day care next door which only had one exit. 43 babies and toddlers died.

Olivia Sontes was one of the anguished parents who remembers that awful day.

"Everyone, every parent received a phone call. And it['s logical, the calls, because everyone was trying to find their children," she recalled.

3-year-old Alejandra suffers from burns to 80 percent of her body. Two 3-year-old boys, Hector and Javier, were burned over 20 percent of their bodies.

"I felt like I was coming together with some angels that were going to take care of my son," said Villegas.

The Mexican consulate gave an update on one of the boys who was originally listed as having burn over 20 percent of his body, saying he is now listed as having burns on more than 50 percent of his body. He also said that Alejandra, Hector and Javier are in stable condition.

A fourth child was expected at the hospital Monday but she died before staffers could get her there.

Officials say either a short circuit or an overheated air condition system may have started the fire on Friday in the warehouse next to the day care center.

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