Two young sisters died in a house fire in Myersville overnight. Fire and rescue personnel were called to the home in the 3900 block of Highland Avenue at 11:20 p.m. Thursday night for the report of a fire with entrapment.
Firefighters worked aggressively to find the girls, but could not rescue them because of the volume of the fire and the home's structural instability, Mike Dmuchowski, spokesman for the Frederick County Office of the Fire Marshal.
The bodies of the girls, ages 3 and 6, were flown from the scene by Maryland State Police. They have been taken to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore for autopsies.
The girls were inside the house when fire and rescue units arrived at the Turkey Hill Estates subdivision late Thursday night to find the home fully engulfed in flames, Frederick County Sheriff's Cpl. Jennifer Bailey told the Associated Press.
Bailey said firefighters' aggressive efforts to locate the girls "were hampered by the volume of fire and the unstable structure," according to the AP.
Bailey said the 39-year-old father was taken to MedStar Washington Hospital Center, according to the AP. She said an 8-year-old girl was taken to Children's National Medical Center in Washington, while the 33-year-old mother, a 7-month-old infant and a Middletown Volunteer Fire Company firefighter were taken to nearby Frederick Memorial Hospital.
Their injuries and status were not available Friday morning, Dmuchowski told the Frederick News-Post.
Neighbors told WTOP that the house went up in flames quickly and the heat was so intense they could feel it across the street.
Lois and Mike Willard, neighbors who were on the scene, told WTOP's Max Smith that the mother of the children ran her 7-month-old baby out to the driveway and left her with Lois before running back into the house. The mother then dropped her oldest daughter off of a balcony that was almost 10 feet high into a neighbor's arms before jumping off of it herself.
Authorities were working to notify other family members before releasing the victims' names, according to the Associated Press. Frederick County fire investigators were working to determine the cause of the blaze.
No damage estimate was available, but the home was a total loss, Dmuchowski told
the Frederick News-Post.