A father and two young girls are dead after an early morning fire ripped through their Glenarden, Md. home. Three others were hurt, including an 11-year-old girl who is clinging to life.
Officials believe an electrical problem caused the fire and it appears to be accidental.
It was a heroic effort that went into saving the lives of the people who live inside the house on Leslie Avenue Thursday morning. Despite heavy smoke conditions, firefighters rushed inside just after 4 a.m. looking for three children and an adult male reported trapped. All four were found and taken outside where paramedics began CPR.
The first reports of a fire in the house came from a neighbor across the street who called 911. Within five minutes, firefighters were in front of the house where they found an adult female and an eight-year-old girl outside. Both of them conscious, but suffering from smoke inhalation.
"One firefighter did receive second-degree burns from that search," said Prince George's County Fire and EMS Chief Marc Bashoor. "The hardest part for them is pulling those kids out of the house."
Chief Bashoor says the fire claimed the lives of a 36-year-old man and his eight-year-old and four-year-old daughters.
Bashoor says the fire began on the first floor of the house, which was not equipped with smoke alarms.
"That particular fact is very sad for me and very frustrating," he said.
Neighbors say the family has lived in the one-story house for about two years. A large garage in the rear holds an auto repair shop.
"It's tough," said neighbor Kimberly Thomas. "Our kids play together. My daughters play with their daughters daily, every day after school, all day on weekends. It's tough. It's hard. It's a hard hit to the community."
Somehow, the girls' mother and her eight-year-old daughter escaped out a window. Firefighters found them in the yard when they arrived.
By midday, firefighters were going door to door on Leslie Avenue checking smoke alarms and installing new ones if needed.
Fire officials have still not released the names of the three people who were killed in the fire.
One of the girls lost her twin sister and an 11-year-old is still in grave condition.
Investigators with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are assisting in the investigation, but at this time, officials are confident the cause is accidental.
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