Three children under the age of 12 are dead after a fire tore through a Hillcrest Heights, Maryland, town house early Monday morning.
Prince George’s County first responders were called to a two-story town house at 2414 Iverson St., near Iverson Mall, around 2:30 a.m. for a fire with people trapped. Crews arrived to what fire department spokeswoman Jennifer Donelan said was already a “well-advanced” blaze, with flames bursting from windows on both floors.
Firefighters immediately began searching the building’s interior. One child was found dead inside the home. Two other children were rescued via the front door and transported to a hospital, where they later died.
Donelan called it a difficult, nightmarish scenario.
“It’s a tough situation for our firefighters, they sign up to save lives,” Donelan told WTOP’s John Domen at the scene. “When they arrive at a fire that was this advanced … it’s tough for everyone around, but for the family, it’s an unimaginable moment.”
Two adults and one child who survived the fire are displaced and receiving assistance from the local Red Cross; one of the adults is hospitalized with life-threatening injuries. One firefighter and one resident were treated for minor burns.
Fire officials and the Prince George’s County Police Department are jointly investigating the fire’s cause and the death of the three children. Firefighters will also work to determine whether the home had functional smoke alarms.
WTOP’s John Domen reported from Hillcrest Heights, Maryland.