4-year-old boy in extremely critical condition after nearly drowning at Phoenix Airbnb | Arizona News
PHOENIX (3TV / CBS 5) – A 4-year-old boy is hospitalized in extremely critical condition after being removed from the backyard pool of an Airbnb rental in South Phoenix.
It happened around 5 p.m. on Sunday at a closed house tucked away behind a business north of Central Avenue and Baseline Road.
Phoenix firefighters said the boyfriend of the mother of the child pulled him out of the water. The little boy was submerged for an indefinite period.
[ORIGINAL STORY: Child found in south Phoenix pool rushed to hospital]
Although there is a garden fence, there does not appear to be an interior fence with a locked gate surrounding the pool.
We have contacted the City of Phoenix to find out if the house complies with its pool barrier code, but we have no response yet.
According to City pool barriers requirement, “If the pool was licensed before May 4, 1990, the ordinance provides an exception to require retroactive installation of interior yard gates if children under the age of six do not reside or visit the home regularly.”
This essentially means that it is legal in Phoenix not to have a fence with a self-locking gate surrounding your pool if the children living with you are 6 years of age or older. Those with children 5 and under must have this interior door.
[WATCH: Could the Airbnb host be liable?]
It is not known if the owner knew there were young children in the house.
Danny Giles of the Phoenix Fire Department said violations are usually seen during emergencies or complaints.
If an owner is in violation, he receives a warning. If the situation is not corrected within a certain number of days, they can be fined or a Class 1 misdemeanor, according to Giles.
Phoenix Police have not said if anyone will face charges, but the investigation is ongoing.
So what does this mean for the owner and Airbnb?
We asked Marc Lamber, an attorney for Fennemore Craig, who is unrelated to this case.
“I think a lawyer who represents a family who suffers, you know, a horrific injury like this, will seek to press charges against all potential parties,” he said. “I think Airbnb would potentially be in the crosshairs.”
An Airbnb spokesperson does not yet have an official statement ready, but said they are contacting the two sides.
Airbnb has confirmed that the house has been listed on the house-sharing site since May 2019 and has 5-star reviews. The list is no longer available for consultation during the last check.
“All hosts in the world are automatically covered [by Airbnb’s Host Protection Insurance],” according to Airbnb.com.
Host Insurance is specifically for “… a lawsuit or claim against a host for personal injury …”.
Property owner Greg Torrez did not want to speak on camera but said he did not know the family and said they were a mix of the city and out of state.
Torrez also said the family were in the pool after the tee time.