‘Couldn’t save them:’ 6 kids die in Baltimore house fire

'Couldn't save them:' 6 kids die in Baltimore house fire

BALTIMORE — Robert Spencer said he often saw children playing on the porch of the home across the street from his in their northeast Baltimore neighbourhood. When he looked out the window early Thursday morning, the home was in flames.

Spencer ran toward the fire, but it was so big and hot he couldn’t help them. Six of the family’s nine children were killed, while their mother and three of her other children were able to escape but were injured, a fire official said.

“I heard the kids crying. My daughter heard them. They said: ‘Help, help,’ and you know, couldn’t save them, couldn’t save them,” Spencer said. “There was just too much fire there.”

All six bodies were recovered from the home Thursday, fire department spokesman Chief Roman Clark said.

Clark said the children killed were two boys, ages 9 months and 2 years; 3-year-old twin girls; and two girls, ages 10 and 11.

Investigators are searching for clues about what caused the fire.

Firefighters encountered heavy flames coming from all three floors of the home when they answered the call about 12:30 a.m. Thursday, and they attacked the blaze from outside, Clark said. The third floor collapsed and the second floor partially collapsed. The fire was so hot that it melted parts of a car that had been parked in front of the house.

The children’s mother and two boys, ages 4 and 5, were in critical condition Thursday at a hospital. Clark said an 8-year-old girl who helped rescue her younger brothers was in “good shape.”

William Malone said all nine are his children with Katie Malone, who’s a staff member for Rep. Elijah Cummings’ district office.

William Malone told The Associated Press he wasn’t home at the time of the fire because he was at work for a restaurant. He said one of the three children taken to the hospital after the blaze has since been released.

“I’m still in shock to be honest,” said Malone, who was reached by phone at a relative’s home. He said he doesn’t know what may have caused the fire. Clark said William Malone told him he had recently changed the batteries in a smoke detector in the house.

Cummings said Katie Malone has worked as a special assistant in his Catonsville office for nearly 11 years.

“My staff is a family and this unimaginable tragedy is shocking and heartbreaking to us all. I again ask for your prayers,” Cummings said in a statement.

Michael Johnson, 55, who lives a block away and can see the house from his home, described it as a complete inferno.

“Fire was coming out of every window, and as they sprayed it, it seemed like the fire was fighting back or something. It just kept coming and coming and coming. Fire was actually coming out of the sides of the house. I’ve never seen anything like that in my life,” Johnson said.

Johnson, who didn’t know the family, added that he was praying for the people inside.

“It was just so intense,” he said. “I didn’t think anyone would be able to survive it at all.”

WJZ-TV showed two small children sitting up as they were wheeled away on a stretcher and a woman on a stretcher with an oxygen mask over her face. Images from the scene show firefighters dousing the charred shell of the first two stories of the home between two other large three story single-family homes.

___

Associated Press writers Sarah Brumfield in Washington and Alanna Durkin Richer in Richmond, Virginia, contributed to this report. Associated Press researcher Rhonda Shafner contributed from New York.

Brian Witte, The Associated Press

Just Posted

VIDEO: Rubbing shoulders with country stars a dream for aspiring young Langley singer

One day soon, maybe, 10-year-old Mackenzie Hurtubise will sing at the Basics for Babies fundraiser.

Giants back in Langley hoping to continue winning streak

The G-Men defeated Royals in Victoria Saturday, the second triumph of the week over the same team.

PHOTOS: Langley City parents given relief from holiday chaos

A Timms Community Centre event Saturday offered a variety of activities for young children.

Langley’s assistant lacrosse captain tallies up five goals in Calgary loss

Stealth fell to Roughnecks, but hoping for comeback on Dec. 29 in New England.

LETTER: Not too late to protect the character of Brookswood

With election year coming, a letter writer suggests council be held accountable for re-development.

VIDEO: Recovering addict shares art and story to motivate others

A Langley City man spends time each day painting in McBurney Plaza.

Update: RCMP arrest domestic assault suspect west of Kamloops.

The RCMP Emergency Response Team made the arrest at around 4:30 p.m.

Owl found dead after eating rat poison leaves B.C. woman concerned

After finding the owl on her Surrey property, Christine Trozzo says the poison is a concern for kids

Change to CPP death benefit panned as insufficient to cover funeral costs

Funeral Services Association of Canada lobbied governments to raise the value to $3,580

B.C. woman brain injured in crash as a baby gets $1.1 million in damages

Trial heard the woman was 16 months old, being carried by her mother when they were both hit

Family Christmas fun at Aldergrove’s Loft Country farm

The Loft Country children’s horse camp in Aldergrove is celebrating Christmas in a new way this year

Court denies WestJet’s bid to toss out discrimination lawsuit of former worker

Mandalena Lewis is suing WestJet over allegations of gender-based discrimination

VIDEO: 3 months later, rescued sea lion released back into ocean

The young animal was found in Campbell River three months ago

Sagmoen neighbours recall alleged hammer attack

Woman was screaming outside Maple Ridge townhouse in 2013

Most Read