Police arson investigators are waiting for the survivors of a suspicious fire Saturday that killed three children recover enough to be questioned, a fire official says.
The one-alarm fire in a two-story brick house in the 200 block of N. Collington Ave. took the lives of Mildred Harrison, 3, and her sister, Rosalie Harrison, 6. Their brother, Antonio Harrison, 1, died of smoke inhalation at Francis Scott Key Medical Center.
The children's parents, Dawn Powell, 34, and Robert Harrison, 42, remain in critical but stable condition at Key, a hospital spokeswoman said.
A family friend, Melvin Fowler, 56, also is listed in critical but stable condition at Key, the spokeswoman said.
The three adults suffered smoke inhalation and burns.
Capt. Ronald Baker, of the city fire department's investigations unit, said the fire occurred about 4:30 a.m. Saturday at 217 N. Collington Ave.
hTC At 5:20 a.m., the blaze was declared under control, Baker said. Thirty-two firefighters, four engines and two trucks responded.
The fire caused at least $35,000 in damage to the building's structure and contents, Baker said.
The fire was reported after a police officer patrolling the neighborhood observed smoke coming from a second-floor window.
There was no smoke detector in the house to warn the occupants of the fire, Baker said.
Investigators detected the presence of a flammable liquid and ,, believe the fire was deliberately set, Baker said. He said police arson investigators are handling the case. No arrests have been made.
Cheryl Powell said her sister, Dawn Powell, and Harrison had no insurance.
The family is seeking donations to help with funeral expenses. Contributions can be sent to: Cheryl Powell, 1610 E. 32nd St., Baltimore 21218.
"How could someone be that cruel?" Cheryl Powell asked. "How could someone just do that?"
Dawn Powell and her children had moved to the East Baltimore neighborhood two months ago, Cheryl Powell said.