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2 children, 1 woman die in Louisiana house fire
from The AP
January 5, 2018 -

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Two children and one woman died in a Friday morning house fire in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where a neighbor watched in horror as a young woman ran from the home with her clothes on fire.

A 19-year-old woman and a 5-year-old boy were taken to a hospital and were in very critical condition, Baton Rouge Fire spokesman Curt Monte told The Associated Press.

The blaze broke out in a home in north Baton Rouge early Friday, Monte said.

Officials had not yet determined the cause.

Reginald Howard, 54, who lives across the street from the charred home, said his dogs' barking awoke him before dawn and he looked outside to see the nearby house consumed in flames. Moments later, he saw the young woman running out the front door in her burning clothes and collapsing onto a neighbor's porch. Neighbors put out the fire on her, he said.

Howard approached the home and heard children screaming inside, he recalled late Friday morning.

"To hear those kids hollering, and you can't get to them - that really hurts," he said.

Howard, another neighbor and a police officer tried to pry their way in through a metal door at the rear of the home, but the smoke and flames were too intense.

Officials earlier told news outlets that four people were killed, but now say the number is three.

Louisiana is in the midst of a recent surge in fire-related deaths — some of which are likely due to the recent spate of cold weather, the state fire marshal's office said in a statement.

Since December, the fire marshal's investigators have responded to more than six residential fires that resulted in more than 10 deaths.

"Investigators believe that four of the recent deaths may have been attributed to the use of space heaters," the fire marshal's office said of the fires which have occurred since December.

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