A community in Baltimore, Maryland is mourning the deaths of six children in a deadly early Thursday morning house fire. On a lighter note, an 8-year-old girl is being hailed a hero for her part in saving the lives of two of her brothers, according to a Baltimore Sun report.
The Northeast neighborhood was rocked when a house in the 4200 block of Springwood Avenue went up in flames. Firefighters spent the better part of a day trying to extinguish the flames. They were made aware that children were trapped in the inferno, but there was nothing they could do to save them before the home was engulfed.
Sadly, six siblings, twin girls, 3, a 9-month-old boy, two girls, ages 10 and 11 and a 9-month-old boy perished in the Baltimore fire. Survivors include the children’s mom, Katie Malone, two boys, ages 4 and 5 and the 8-year-old girl who risked her life to save her brothers.
Prayers: ‘We have not heard any cries’: 6 children presumed dead in Baltimore fire https://t.co/dLjAylcUXN
— David Dickerson (@HoopKidz) January 12, 2017
Malone works for Congressman Elijah E. Cummings. She was injured while trying to save her children and was hospitalized in critical condition. One-by-one, her hero daughter helped her pull out the survivors. She sustained minor injuries, was hospitalized and released on the same day of the fire.
Fire Chief Niles Ford described the hectic scene in the Cedmont community. He said the flames were so intense that a nearby vehicle was nearly melted. Niles said when he arrived, the home was so engulfed in flames, he observed that three of his firefighters had “taken a knee” in front of the home; they were unsuccessful in their attempts to gain entry.
The next day, heavy equipment arrived on the scene to sift through the debris and make the area safe. Residents who witnessed the scene described having numb feelings when they realized kids were trapped inside the home and some likely died.
Robert Spencer, 51, was asleep when he heard what sounded like an explosion at a home across the street from his residence. By the time he emerged from his home to investigate, he observed Malone frantically running around the blazing house.
Spencer described his contact with the woman.
“I said, ‘Where’s the babies at?’ She said, ‘They’re in the house.'”
He gave the woman his jacket and tried to gain access into the home, to no avail. Family members held him back from going inside the burning house.
“The flames was coming from everywhere. You could feel the heat.”
After the ordeal, Spencer said he reasoned it was best to go home and try resting. He couldn’t because he was plagued by the ominous distress calls of help from the children trapped inside the burning building.
William Gray, 37, is a resident on the same block. He says he doesn’t know the family personally, but the children were always friendly when he passed by the home.
Gray said the fire started on an enclosed porch at the front of the home. He said it likely spread very fast and couldn’t be contained in time.
“It took them a while to battle the blaze. As they watered it down, it continued to flare up.”
Roman Clark, a spokesperson for the fire department, said the building had three floors. By the time emergency units arrived on the scene, all three floors were on fire. Eventually, the upper floor collapsed under its weight and firefighters were left to manage the fire from the outside of the residence.
William Malone is the kids’ father. People magazine said he wasn’t at home at the time of the tragedy. Reporters spoke to the restaurant worker by phone. He was clearly distraught over the loss of his children and said he has no knowledge about how the blaze began.
“I’m still in shock, to be honest.”
Rep. Cummings said he spoke to the husband and said his wife was on the road to recovery. He held a news conference about the fatal fire.
“It’s a very difficult time for our office. My staff is a family, and this unimaginable tragedy is shocking and heartbreaking to us all.”
A GoFundMe page was activated to help the family recover from the devastating effects of the Baltimore house fire. As of this writing, the account has amassed pledged donations of $169,300 towards its $200,000 goal.
[Featured image by GoFundMe/Jennifer Ward on behalf of Bill Malone]