Two girls were killed and their mother and a teen were critically injured early Sunday morning in a house fire on Indianapolis' northeast side.
The blaze began before 5 a.m. at a home in the 3600 block of Hillside Avenue, 6News' Cheryl Jackson reported.
Family members identified the deceased children as Lanesha and Camry.
"Camry and Lanesha (were) wonderful kids," said Joycelyn Crawford, the victims' aunt. "They are angels -- church-going kids."
Officials said six people were in the house when the fire began. The children's grandmother, Jackie Crawford, and her boyfriend escaped unharmed through a downstairs window and watched with horror as firefighters pulled the other victims from the blaze, neighbors said.
"She was crying, just screaming, talking about her babies were in there," said Regina Tipton, who lives across the street.
Crawford's nephew, Elijah, and her sister, Natasha, the mother of the three children, were hospitalized in critical condition.
Neighbors said Jackie Crawford tried to lead firefighters through a door to some steps that led to the bedroom where the children were, but there was too much smoke. The deceased victims were pulled from the fire first, Jackson reported.
"He had the first baby just thrown over his shoulder, laid it on the ground and started working on it," Tipton said. "Then, another baby -- they had them side-by-side. Then, the daughter -- it was painful."
Neighbor Daria Moore goes to church with the family.
"When you know them personally, it really, really hits you," Moore said.
IFD Capt. Gregg Harris said the fire was especially sad because it occurred on Mother's Day.
"This is supposed to be Mother's Day," Joycelyn Crawford said. "We are all supposed to be here together. This is not right."
Investigators said the fire was an accident, but they are working to determine an exact cause. An unattended candle might have been to blame, investigators said.
Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard stopped by the scene of the fire Sunday afternoon, comforting family members.
Anyone who wants to help the family can contact Indiana Missionary Baptist Church at 317-542-9577.
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