PHOENIX – A 5-year-old boy is dead after drowning in a north Phoenix pool early Saturday.
Scott Walker with the Phoenix Fire Department said fire crews responded to a home near 40th Street and Greenway Road around 4 a.m.
Walker said it was reported that a 5-year-old boy and his father were visiting the father’s brother.
The men had put the boy to sleep and then stayed up talking, Walker said.
They reportedly went to check on the boy around 4 a.m., but did not find him in bed and searched for him.
They found the boy in the backyard pool, pulled him from the water and called 911, Walker said.
Firefighters transported the boy to Paradise Valley Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Walker said there were no barriers around the pool.
“The homes are older out here and may have been built before those requirements were in place,” he said. “Regardless of whether it is a requirement we want you to have the barriers in place. It is your responsibility that something like this doesn’t happen.”
Tony Bohannon who lives next door said the home is owned by a firefighter who was out of town for several weeks with his family.
He said he is heartbroken. The loss hits him especially hard since he lost his 3-year-old niece to a drowning years ago.
“When you see that tiny casket and you know the guilt and suffering the family will go through,” he said. “You hear ‘watch your kids around water’ and it is not a cliche, it is real.”
Walker said that it is a tragic reminder that pool safety for kids is a multi-layered strategy. He stresses swim lessons, having pool fences, and adult supervision.
He also said that it is a sad wake-up call of the danger of pools for people visiting the Valley from areas where pools are less common.