Two small children were killed early this morning in a fire that broke out in their apartment in a development in far Northeast Washington, fire officials reported. Three other children were injured in the blaze in addition to a woman who suffered a fracture when she jumped from a window.
Neighbors said that the apartment at 249 58th St. NE where the blaze broke out about 12:30 a.m. today had been without electricity and that the family was using candles for illumination.
The children were identified as Kaiesha Halfacre, 5 years old, and her brother, Charlie Halfacre Jr., who was about 14 months old.
Charlie C. Halfacre, who was identified as their father, told a reporter early this morning that he was helping a friend move and was not home when the fire broke out. He said he understood that it was ignited by a candle.
Fire officials released few details and said the cause of the blaze was still under investigation.
One neighbor, Derek Benson, said he saw the fire and kicked in a front door, but encountered "too much smoke," and could not enter.
Another neighbor, Anthony West, 15, said that he ran to the rear of the house, broke one of the windows in the victims' first-floor apartment and entered, but said that "the roof started falling in," forcing him to leave.
The three injured children, who were not identified immediately, were all taken to D.C. General Hospital where they were being treated early this morning for smoke inhalation. All were described as stable.
The injured woman, identified as Josephine Ross, was being treated at the hospital for a fractured leg apparently suffered in a jump from an upper floor of the three-story, brick-fronted apartment house.