Two young children critical after Wilmington fire

December 9, 2011 4:29:08 PM PST
Two young children are fighting for their lives Friday night after an early afternoon fire tore through their Wilmington, Delaware home.

The blaze broke out just after noon time in the 1100 block of Pleasant Street in Wilmington, Delaware.

When firefighters arrived, they found a 3-year-old and an 18-month old child, both trapped inside the home.

Both remain in critical condition at A.I. Dupont hospital.

If not for the swift action of firefighters, the children would likely be dead.

The fire broke out in the second floor of their grandmother's row home around 12:20 pm Friday afternoon.

Firefighters were on the scene within minutes, and began efforts to rescue two children who were reportedly trapped inside.

Only the Action Cam was on the scene as Second Ladder Company Lieutenant Eric Haley and Senior Firefighter Neil Skinner first rescued a little girl, whom neighbors say just turned three years old, and the little boy, who's about one.

"An officer and a firefighter from Ladder Company 2 made a search of the second floor and were able to locate the two children and affectively remove them within 8 minutes from when we received the alarm," explained Deputy Chief Allen Huelsenbeck of the Wilmington Fire Department.

Medics resuscitated both children at the scene before they were taken to the Intensive Care Unit at A. I. DuPont Hospital for Children.

The toddlers had been in the care of their grandmother, while their mother was at work. The grandmother escaped the burning home without injury.

The fire was discovered in a second floor rear bedroom and extinguished within 10 minutes. Fire damage was contained to the one house, but the homes on either side had smoke damage.

People who live in the neighborhood say they were impressed with the response of emergency personnel.

"The police and the fire department came real quick, and I commend them on that," said Samuel Cuffy.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation by the fire marshal's office in Wilmington, and they haven't yet determined whether there were any working smoke detectors in the home.

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