Fort Myers, Florida Apartment Fire Kills Two Young Boys

FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) -- Investigators were searching Friday for the cause of an apartment fire in a public housing complex that killed two young brothers.

The Thursday afternoon fire in the living room of the three-bedroom, two-story apartment killed a 1-year-old boy, whose name was not released. A brother, 5-year-old Camren McDowell, died early Friday at Lee Memorial Hospital.

A 3-year-old child escaped unharmed.

Neighbors noticed smoke billowing from the cinderblock building shortly after the apartment's resident, Sabrina Cody, 23, walked to another apartment to use the phone, authorities and witnesses said.

``I saw flames in the downstairs and smoke coming out of the upstairs,'' said Helene Harris, 16, a resident who ran to the burning apartment. ``The mama was screaming for her kids.''

Witnesses told The News-Press of Fort Myers that by the time help arrived, the fire was too hot for anyone to enter the apartment.

Firefighters found the 1-year-old dead on a couch in the living room just feet from the front door. The 5-year-old was found in a bedroom upstairs.

Smoke detectors on both floors of the apartment were tested within the past two months, maintenance worker Joe Webb said.

``We are investigating all aspects of this,'' Fort Myers police Detective Mark Chitwood said. ``It doesn't get any more important than this. ... When you have children die in any manner, you want to know what happened.''