Two children and their father were rescued by a passer-by who rushed into their burning house in Colesville yesterday morning, Montgomery County fire officials said.

The father, Scott Lowery of 13711 Notley Rd., was listed in fair condition at Washington Hospital Center, where he was treated for burns and smoke inhalation.

Lowery's two sons, ages 2 and 4, were treated for burns and smoke inhalation at Children's Hospital in Washington.

The mother, Debbie Lowery, fled the house without injury.

Firefighter Matthew Trivett of the Hillandale Volunteer Fire Department was

aken to Montgomery General Hospital with burns to one foot.

Firefighters said the fire started in a bedroom of the house about 10:20 a.m. and that Scott Lowery and the two children were trapped inside.

Firefighters and neighbors said a man, identified as Joseph Thomas of Colesville, was driving by when he spotted the fire and heard the mother's screams for help.

They said Thomas left his car, broke the glass to a back sliding door and rescued the two children from a bedroom.

Thomas also assisted Scott Lowery from the house.

Officials are investigating the fire, which caused an estimated $45,000 in damage.