CAPITOL HEIGHTS, Md. -- A 5-year-old girl and 15-year-old boy died after a fire ripped through their home. A 24-year-old man was hospitalized and remains in critical condition Thursday night. Prince George's County Fire spokesperson Mark Brady says the fire was accidental and electrical in nature. Fire investigators believe the fire was caused by an overloaded electrical circuit.
Prince George's County Fire Investigators are still combing through what is left of the home, looking for clues at the fire scene in the 6300 block of Carrington Court where firefighters were called just after 4:30 p.m. Wednesday. 911 callers told dispatchers they believed people were trapped in the burning home.
Janette Gibson, a neighbor who lives two houses down from where the fire broke out, said she saw it all happen.
Gibson said, "I had walked outside to go to the store and fire was coming out from the side of the house...so I start screaming...help!"
Firefighters arrived to find the two-story brick duplex engulfed in fire, and found a 24-year-old man in the front yard with serious burns to his upper body. He told firefighters the approximate location of two other occupants still inside the house. He said that trapped upstairs were his 5-year-old daughter and his 15-year-old brother.
Neighbors say the daughter and her uncle were pulled from second floor windows, unconscious, and paramedics assessed them both as having severe burn injuries, were not breathing and had no pulse. They were taken to a nearby hospital with CPR in progress. The 24-year-old father was taken to a Burn Unit in Washington D.C. suffering third degree burns to about 50% of his body.
A total of 60 firefighters and paramedics were called to the scene. It required 20 to 30 minutes to extinguish the fire.
Late Wednesday night, the 15-year-old male regained a pulse and was stabilized enough to be transferred to the Burn Unit at the Washington Hospital Center. He remains in critical condition.
Donte Maynard is a cousin of the victims. He said, "For something like this to happen...it's just eating me up."
The identity of the deceased girl is being withheld pending extended family notification.
The home was equipped with two working smoke alarms.
According to Brady, the fire damage is estimated at $150,000. As a result of the damage, two adults, 1 child and a dog are arranging for other housing.