2 toddlers die in Wash. house fire

Credit: Kittitas County Fire District #7

2 toddlers die in Wash. house fire

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by KING 5 News

kgw.com

Posted on November 2, 2013 at 10:21 AM

Updated Saturday, Nov 2 at 10:22 AM

CLE ELUM, Wash. -- Officials say two young boys, ages 3 and 4, who were trapped inside a burning home in Cle Elum have died in the fire.

A 911 call came in around 12:15 p.m. Friday that two children were trapped inside a burning home on 3rd Street in Cle Elum. When firefighters arrived, the children's mother and father were outside trying frantically to get to their children, who were inside.

"They are so sweet, the family.  So loving and caring, good people,"  said Angel McKemie, who knows the family and came to the scene when she heard what had happened.

Firefighters with several agencies battled the flames, which spread quickly. Photos taken of the fire showed the front door fully engulfed in flames and windows blacked and shattered by the heat; video showed a cloud of smoke that could be seen from miles away.

"It was just a big huge cloud of white smoke high up int the sky," said witness Alaina Moreno.  "We were just all gasping on the bus.  It was just terrifying to see because everyone is family in Cle Elum."

The boys' mother suffered minor burns to her arms. She was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment. No other injuries were reported.

Investigators do not yet know the cause of the fire. 

The news weighs heavily on the tight knit community.  It comes just two days after a seven-year-old from Roslyn who died after he was buried in a pile of sand near his home. 

"It's tough," said neighbor Dwayne Smith.  "It hurts.  it hurts to the core.  This is going to affect our community for a long time."

Even emergency responders, many of them who worked both the fire and the incident on Wednesday, were moved to tears.

"It's been a horrible week for our county," said Cle Elum Police Chief Scott Ferguson.  "This affects neighbors, policemen, firemen - this is a tough situation for us."

Neighbors say the toddlers killed in Friday's fire had been out the night before trick or treating for Halloween.

KING 5's Heather Graf and Liza Javier contributed to this report.

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