One of two sisters pulled from a house fire in Hyattsville, Md., Wednesday morning has died.
Four girls were injured in the blaze in the 4700 block of 40th Avenue at about 4 a.m., NBC Washington's Melissa Mollet reported.
When firefighters arrived at the scene, the house was already engulfed in fire. A neighbor, Don Watson, phoned in the 911 call.
"By the time I got off the phone," Watson said, "the whole house was covered in flames."
Two of the girls escaped with their parents, but two other sisters, ages 9 and 13, were trapped inside the burning home.
Firefighters found one of the girls upstairs and one downstairs. Both were in cardiac arrest and suffering from burns.
Fire department spokesman Mark Brady said the two girls who were pulled from the home were hospitalized in extremely critical condition. Kimberly Hernandez, 9, died at Children's Hospital. Her 13-year-old sister was taken from Prince George's Hospital Center to Baltimore to be placed in a hyperbaric chamber, NBC Washington's Jane Watrel reported.
Brady said the other two sisters -- a 13-year-old twin and a 4-year-old -- were taken to a hospital for smoke-related injuries. Their condition is serious but improving and they are expected to survive.
The parents of the girls were also taken to a hospital for possible smoke-related injuries, Brady said.
One firefighter sustained burns and was taken to a hospital burn unit, where he was treated and released, Brady said. Another firefighter also was treated for injuries suffered in the fire and released.
Investigators spent much of Wednesday morning combing through the charred home, taking photos and trying to figure out where and how the fire started. They said they believe it started in the dining room and quickly spread through the house. Investigators believe the fire was accidental.
Investigators said the family did have a hard-wired smoke detector in the house. The girls' father said he heard the alarm, but that didn't wake him up -- the smoke did.
The girls' uncle also was in the house when the fire started.
A fund has been established to help the family. Details are below:
Your TAX DEDUCTIBLE donations to support the Zelaya family of Hyattsville, MD, are so greatly appreciated.
The fund has been established by the Hyattsville Community Development Corporation, a 501C3 tax exempt organization. Donations can be made in two ways:
By check: made out to "Hyattsville CDC"
addressed to: Treasurer
Hyattsville Community Development Corporation
5004 42nd Avenue
Hyattsville, MD 20781
(please reference "Zelaya Family Relief Fund" in subject line)
By PayPal: at www.hycdc.org
(please reference "Zelaya Family Relief Fund" in dialogue comment box)