Two children were critically injured early yesterday when they became trapped in their bedroom by a fire that forced their mother and another woman to jump from a second-floor window of a Northeast Washington home, D.C. fire officials reported.

They said the children, identified as Keith Gilmore, 4, and Kevin Gilmore, 3, were found huddled in their smoke-filled, second-floor bedroom at 1253 Wylie St. NE soon after the 4:45 a.m. fire was reported by a passer-by.

Keith was taken by D.C. Fire De- partment ambulance to Children's Hospital, where he was in critical condition last night suffering from third-degree burns over 60 percent of his body, fire and hospital officials said.

They said Kevin, who originally was taken by fire department ambulance to D.C. General Hospital, later was transferred to Children's Hospital, where he was in critical condition suffering from smoke inhalation.

The children's mother, Rene Gilmore, 23, was forced by heat and smoke to jump from her second-floor bedroom window, officials said.

They said that Yetta Adams, 35, a friend of Gilmore's who was stay- ing at the home, also jumped to safety.

They were taken to D.C General Hospital suffering from smoke inhalation and multiple trauma, a hospital spokeswoman said. She said both women were being observed for possible leg and back injuries sustained in their escape and that they were in stable condition last night.

Fire officials said the blaze, which they said was caused by a defective furnace, started in a small area near the kitchen of the two-story brick row house and quickly spread through the ceiling to the children's bedroom directly above it, where Keith's bed caught on fire. They said flames also funneled up a stair- way outside the kitchen to the children's door, and that Gilmore and Adams were forced to jump to safety when they were unable to reach the youngsters.

When they arrived on the scene, according to officials, Sgt. Joseph C. Neville of Truck 13 and firefighter Allen J. Winterwerp of Engine 10 rescued the children by bursting through the flames and forcing their way up the stairs to the bedroom, where they found Keith lying on the floor next to his bunk bed and Kevin huddled in a corner of the room.

Fire officials said there were smoke detectors in the house but it was not known whether they were working. They said detectors should regularly be checked.