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3-year-old still in critical condition after house fire kills her brother, grandpa

The two children were airlifted to the hospital but one later died.

DADE CITY, Fla. — A grandfather and his 5-year-old grandson died from their injuries, a 3-year-old was hurt and several dogs were killed, in a house fire late Friday, according to Pasco County Fire Rescue.

Firefighters responded to a home on Darby Road in the San Antonio community to find smoke coming from the building, firefighters say. They were told, upon arrival to the burning house, people inside might have been trapped.

The man, 62-year-old Don Maier, was found in less than 90 seconds. As firefighters performed life-saving efforts in the front yard, neighbors told them children also were inside the house.

Two of them were rescued: 5-year-old Zayden and 3-year-old Alani. Both were airlifted to Tampa General Hospital, where the Zayden later died and Alani remains in critical condition. 

A Pasco County Fire Rescue spokesperson tells 10News the 3-year-old girl is the man's granddaughter.

Don, transported by ambulance, was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Firefighters noted 11 dogs also were on the property at the time of the fire. One adult male dog and eight puppies were killed, while two other dogs are being cared for by Pasco County Animal Control.

A 17-year-old boy also lived in the house with the family. He was at work when the fire started. 

It's not yet known how the fire started.

Fundraisers have been set up to help the teen and the family.

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