A fire in a Cumberland home has taken the life of two sisters, ages 7 and 4.
The girls, Jymera, 4, and Paige Ford, 7, were on the second floor of the old brick rowhouse when the fire started on the first floor shortly after 6 a.m. Friday.
Paige was rescued from the second floor window in cardiac arrest. She received CPR at the scene and was quickly transported to Western Maryland Regional Medical Center where she was pronounced deceased, according to a statement from the fire marshals' office.
Jymera's body was found in the second floor bedroom after fire suppression activities rendered the home safe for re-entry.
The mother, Tandra Ford is currently being treated for smoke inhalation injuries received during the incident. Five other occupants, including an 8 month old male infant escaped the fire unharmed.
Deputy Chief State Fire Marshal Jason Mowbray tells AP that firefighters found the second victim inside the row house on Harrison Street after controlling the blaze Friday morning.
Shana Schriner says the girls' mother and several other adults were on the first floor.
Fire marshals haven't confirmed the cause, but the survivors say their heater burst into flames.
Even late this afternoon as she watched firefighters and investigators go through her good friends' house, Schriner couldn't hold back her tears. She had lived in there for a time. She was close with the whole family, especially Jamira and Paige who didn't make it out.
"I used to babysit Paige and Jymera," says Schriner. "They was the most wonderful kids I've ever seen. Its just horrible what happened to them."
"My cousin Brian tried to get Jamira out from jumping out the window. She wouldn't let go. My uncle said she was just too scared."
The mother is hospitalized as well. Schriner says she's in rough shape.
"I'm heartbroken because I've known those kids since they were babies," says Debbie Miller, who owns the building. "I visited them in the hospital. It's hard to watch."
Bruce Bouch, a spokesperson for the Maryland State Fire Marshal's Office says says five housing units were affected by the blaze. The American Red Cross is helping the families involved.
Bouch says, approximately 100 firefighters from Allegany County and Mineral County, WV, were on the scene in firefighting operations.
Three firefighters received non-life threatening injuries and were transported to Western Maryland Regional Medical Center and were treated and released.
Three additional firefighters received minor injuries and were treated and released at the scene.
Bouch says it took approximately 3 1?2 hours to control the four alarm blaze that caused fire and smoke damage in two of the five row homes.
A third row house received smoke damage only, while the remaining two row homes experienced no damage during the incident.
Only three of the row homes were occupied at the time of the blaze. Damage loss estimates are $200,000.