Two sisters have been charged with attempted murder after allegedly leaving their three children in a Baltimore apartment with natural gas pouring out of unlit oven burners.

Police discovered the children alone in the apartment about 2:30 Christmas morning while investigating a complaint of a gas smell in the building.

The children -- two 4-month-old boys and a 4-year-old girl -- suffered no lasting effects from the gas, police said. They were turned over to the Department of Social Services pending custody hearings.

The two mothers, Kim W. Jackson, 25, and Maxine M. Jackson, 31, were arrested when they returned to the apartment about a half-hour after the police arrived.

Kim Jackson, the mother of two of the children, was charged with two counts each of attempted murder, child neglect, child abuse and reckless endangerment.

Maxine Jackson faces one count of each charge, police said.

Kim Jackson moved into the building about a month ago, said Ernest Young, a maintenance worker there.

Maxine Jackson moved into an apartment above Kim Jackson on Christmas Eve after their mother paid a month's rent as a Christmas present, Young said. Police said the children were found in Kim Jackson's apartment.