A 3-year-old Landover Hills boy died yesterday morning in a house fire that left his twin brother severely burned and a 6-year-old cousin with life-threatening injuries.
The single-story home on Fairwood Road was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived about 2 a.m. Four adults in the house had escaped, and two of the three children were inside, said Mark Brady, spokesman for the Prince George's County Fire/Emergency Medical Services Department.
One of the adults, a grandfather of the children, had jumped from a bedroom window, pulling one of the children out with him, Brady said. The grandfather suffered second-degree burns and head trauma. The child also was injured.
Workers rescued another child from a bedroom, although they said they did not know whether it was the surviving twin or the 6-year-old boy.
The child who died, Andre Davis, was discovered in the living room in the front of the house, where the fire originated, Brady said. Firefighters, who extinguished the blaze in five to 10 minutes, said that they do not know what caused it but that they don't suspect foul play.
The twins lived in the house with their father and paternal grandparents, Brady said. The 6-year-old and his mother also lived in the home. Fire officials did not release the names of the family members.
Andre is the first youngster to die in a fire this year in Prince George's, Brady said. The seven others who have died in fires in 2005 have been older than 50.
The mother of the 6-year-old and the grandmother were taken to a hospital because of "emotional distress," Brady said. The fourth adult in the home, a man, was not injured.
A nonfunctioning smoke alarm was found in the home, Brady said.
Yesterday, yellow caution tape surrounded the white house with red shutters, built in 1962 atop a small, grassy hill. Its front door and front windows were kicked in and burned.
Tables, a couch and clothing sat in a charred pile on the front lawn. Firefighters had pulled the smoldering things from the house to douse them so they wouldn't rekindle the blaze.
A neighbor across the street, Meriam Miller, said she heard some loud bangs and then screams early yesterday.
"I just heard a woman screaming and hollering," Miller said. "Then all of a sudden I saw the fire gush out of the front door."
Neighbors described the family as generally quiet and festive around holidays, setting out pumpkins for Halloween and stringing lights at Christmas. They also said the family is Hispanic and speaks limited English, similar to many families moving into the neighborhood.
"There's a lot of turnover here," said Miller, who has lived in her home for 30 years.