What to Know
- Eight-year-old girl rescued two younger brothers from the fire
- Mother, two boys remain in critical condition
- Father of the 9 children was at work when the fire happened
A mother and two of her children remain in critical condition after a devastating fire that killed six other children at their Baltimore home.
An 8-year-old girl is being called a hero for pulling two of her siblings from the flames. The three of them and their mother were able to escape the blaze, a fire official said.
All six bodies were recovered from the home Thursday, said fire department spokesman Chief Roman Clark. Earlier Thursday, Clark said the presumed dead were two boys, ages 9 months and 2 years; 3-year-old twin girls; and two girls, ages 10 and 11.
The children's mother and two boys, ages 4 and 5, are in critical condition at a hospital. The 8-year-old girl who helped rescue her younger brothers was in "good shape," Clark said.
William Malone said all nine are his children with Katie Malone, who's a staff member for Rep. Elijah Cummings' district office.
“My family and I are deeply grateful for the outpouring of love and support we have received in the wake of the tragic fire my wife and children experienced. We continue to receive kind offers from many who wish to help," William Malone said in a statement on Thursday. "As you can imagine, this is an extremely difficult time for my family, and I ask that our privacy be respected at this time.”
Malone said the family is accepting donations through a GoFundMe page. The page has already garnered more than $187,000 in donations.
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 cause of the deadly blaze is still under investigation, but a space heater may have been a factor, according to fire officials.
Maryland State Fire Marshal Brian Geraci said space heaters are an all-too-common cause of fires during winter months and they should be placed at least three feet away from anything that can burn.
"At night, turn the space heater off. Unplug it. If it's cold in the house, put a couple extra blankets on your bed," Geraci said.
Geraci said it's also vital for families to map out a fire escape plan and set up a safe place to gather away from the flames.
"Practice with your family and discuss it with them just over a meal, over the dinner table," he said.
Another step that can save lives is closing bedroom doors at night to slow smoke and fire so there is more time to escape, Geraci said.