BALTIMORE - Witnesses at the scene struggled to cope with what happened. Tears rolled down their cheeks, obvious sorrow for lives lost.
As we asked questions, details were scarce. It wasn't because those at the scene didn't want to talk, it was that they couldn't find the words.
Five people, including four children, are dead and three others are hurt after fire ripped through the Northeast Baltimore home Thursday morning. The fire broke out shortly after 2 a.m. on Denwood Avenue near Thurgood Marshall High School.
Baltimore City Fire Department spokesman Kevin Cartwright described the scene as "dramatic."
"This was a very, very dramatic scene for out citizens here in Baltimore, especially the family, who has just lost five loved ones," Cartwright said.
Firefighters arriving at the scene on Denwood Avenue found the home engulfed in flames and smoke billowing into the sky.
Two firefighters were hurt when one fell through the second story floor all the way to the basement and landed on another firefighter. Both were immediately pulled from the home and treated at the scene. One of the two firefighters was taken to Johns Hopkins Bayview Hospital where he's expected to be okay.
Fire investigators are now on the scene trying to figure out what caused the fire, but they believe it started in the basement of the home. It's not clear if the smoke alarms in the home were working when the fire started.
According to family members, 9-10 people from three generations lived in the home. They tell ABC2 News that Nancy Worrell, the 55-year-old grandmother in the home, died in the fire. They say her husband jumped from the second floor of the home, broke his back and is covered in third degree burns. He was reportedly transported to Johns Hopkins Bayview Hospital.
"She'd do anything for anybody," a family member said of Worrell. "It's just crazy. We don't know what's happened."
According to the family, the children who died were a 1-year-old boy, 2-year-old girl, 4-year-old boy and 7-year-old Tykia Manley. Tykia was a student at Moravia Park Elementary School. Fire officials say the children were all sleeping in the same room.
Family members say four people were able to escape the fire, including the mother of the 2 and 4-year-olds. She was holding a 2-month-old baby boy when she jumped out the living room window.
Shawneka Bailey was one of several family members at the scene Thursday morning. She said she had just left her grandparents' home at 9 p.m.
"My grandmother was in the room with all the kids, and nobody could get them out," Bailey said. "There was too much smoke."
With tears in her eyes, Bailey asked for prayers.
"Everybody is just in so much pain," she said. "Because, you know, we wasn't expecting this to happen."
The five deaths bring the total number of fire deaths in the state of Maryland for 2012 to 38. By this point in 2011, there were 43 fire-related deaths in the state.
2012 Maryland Fire Deaths
View 2012 Maryland Fire Deaths in a larger map
"I was deeply saddened to learn of the tragic, fatal fire on Denwood Avenue in northeast Baltimore early this morning," said Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. "The surviving family members have experienced an unspeakable catastrophe, and our entire community must support them during this very difficult time." ( read more )
The location of the fire is about a half-mile to mile away from where two arsons took place in September. Officials say they have no reason to believe those incidents to be connected to this fire.
In response to the deadly fire and another fire Thursday morning that severely injured two firefighters, local union leader Rick Hoffman held a special press conference.
During the press conference, ( READ | WATCH ) Hoffman stated he believes the Baltimore City Fire Department is "spread too thin."
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