CHILLUM, Md. – Two-year-old twins and their grandparents are dead after a fire broke out in their Maryland home early Tuesday, fire officials said.
At a news conference, Prince George's County Fire Chief Marc Bashoor said the grandparents died at the scene and the twins were taken to a hospital, where they died. He identified the children as 2-year-old Anna and Israel Omijie and their grandparents as 55-year-old Caroline Omogbo and 63-year-old Samson Omogbo.
Firefighters found flames showing from both floors and three sides of the home in Chillum around 2 a.m., and frantic family members told them others were still trapped inside, Bashoor said. Firefighters quickly went into the home and pulled four people from the burning home.
"They had to make an aggressive attack of that fire while also trying to get inside and pull those people out," Bashoor said, noting that firefighters' efforts were complicated by cold and ice. "They got in there and got the people pretty quickly. Unfortunately, their injuries were too severe."
The grandparents died at the scene and the twins were taken to Children's National Medical Center in Washington, where they died, Bashoor said.
The twins' mother jumped from a second-floor window to escape the blaze, but her injuries are not life-threatening, he said. Two other people escaped the home safely.
There's no sign of a smoke alarm in the house the family was renting, Bashoor said. The cause is under investigation, but so far there's no evidence of anything suspicious he said. Damage is estimated at $250,000.
The last time the county saw this many deaths in one fire was several years ago, Bashoor said. It is particularly tough on the family, community and firefighters when children are lost in a fire, her said. It also comes one year after four children and their grandparents died in a fire at a mansion in Annapolis.
Firefighters plan to return to the neighborhood Tuesday afternoon to knock on doors and check smoke alarms, he said.