SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (AP) — A 6-year-old girl and her 2-year-old brother were killed early Thursday in a California apartment fire that broke out hours after their mother went to a hospital to give birth, authorities said.
The children's father was critically injured in the blaze at the two-story duplex in San Bernardino, fire Battalion Chief Michael Bilheimer said.
The children were found huddled together and unconscious behind a couch, Bilheimer said. They were rushed to a hospital, where they were pronounced dead.
The father was found on the floor in the same room. He was hospitalized in critical condition with severe burns and smoke injuries.
The pregnant mother was in labor and taken to a hospital before the fire, Bilheimer said. He didn't know if she had given birth or if she had been informed about the fire.
Crews responded to the blaze about 3 a.m. after a neighbor walking a dog spotted smoke spewing from the upstairs unit. The flames were knocked down in about 10 minutes.
The cause of the fire remained under investigation.