A fire in a Rosedale home yesterday afternoon killed two children, a 3-year-old girl and her 1-year-old brother, who had been left at home alone, Baltimore County police said.
Charkia and Shakirr Hall were not breathing when firefighters brought them out of the house on the 6100 block of St. Regis Road. They were pronounced dead shortly after arriving at Franklin Square Hospital, police said.
Their mother, Jennifer Grant, 34, arrived home shortly after the children were taken out of the house. She told police that she was at a doctor's appointment when the fire broke out at 3:19 p.m.
The two children, in an upstairs bedroom, apparently died from smoke inhalation.
"There was more smoke than fire," Cpl. Thomas McCreer said.
Wimpy Glover, a neighbor who called 911 after seeing smoke, said that he thought the house was vacant and told that to the dispatcher.
"I smelled the smoke for a little while and I thought someone might be burning leaves or something," Mr. Glover said.
He went outside and saw smoke pouring from the window of the house two doors away.
He said he did not know the family and thought the house was empty because it had no curtains.
"That's what I told them when I called. I thought the house was vacant," Mr. Glover said. "If I would have known, I would have gone in there myself."
Firefighters were surprised to find the two children inside because they had been told the house was vacant, Corporal McCreer said.
But this did not cause any delay in reaching the children, he said.
The fire started in a pile of clothes in the kitchen on the first floor of the two-story house, Corporal McCreer said, but the exact cause of the fire is still unknown.
The blaze, fought by units from the Rosedale volunteer and Baltimore County fire departments, was put out at 3:40 p.m., officials said.