Two young children were killed and their parents and a firefighter were injured just before midnight last night when a fire raged through their home in Southwest Baltimore.
Fire investigators found evidence that the blaze may have spread from a living room fireplace to an artificial Christmas tree and a sofa, Battalion Chief Joseph Dillon said. The flames then raced up a stairway to the second floor, where the children had been asleep in separate bedrooms.
Neighbors, alerted by the mother's cries, found the parents injured in the front yard. The father, Kimbrom W. Fessehai, was bleeding from severe cuts after smashing through the first-floor living room window to escape the blaze. The names of the other family members could not be confirmed.
Adrian Stupski, an 18-year-old who lives across street, said he dialed 911 and then tried with another neighbor to reach the trapped children as flames engulfed the lower floor of the two-story frame home in the 5000 block of Parkton Street.
"My neighbor climbed up and punched out the window, and the smoke came pouring out," he said. "We heard the fire engines and we thought it was best to wait for them."
Firefighter Rick Lago received burns as he and other firefighters climbed to upper windows, entered the house and brought out the unconscious children.
A 2-year-old girl was pronounced dead at the University Medical Center after an extended attempt at resuscitation, while her 6-year-old brother died at St. Agnes Hospital. The parents were being treated at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center.