CONROE, Texas (FOX 26) - Two young children and their 90-year-old grandmother are dead after a Conroe-area house fire.
A neighbor contacted Montgomery County 911 just before 2:30 a.m. Saturday and reported the fire on Long Valley Court in the Summerset Estates subdivision.
An initial crew of three firefighters and their battalion chief from Caney Creek Fire & Rescue arrived to find heavy flames in the kitchen and living room of the one-story brick home. The fire was blocking a hallway which trapped some of the people inside the home.
Two firefighters entered the home and used thermal imaging equipment to search for people. They found an 18-month-old girl and a 6-year-old boy suffering from respiratory arrest. The girl was taken by Montgomery County Hospital District EMS to Texas Children's Hospital The Woodlands where she later died. The boy was pronounced dead after he was removed from the home.
Firefighters and EMS crew members found the 30-year-old mother of those children as she crawled out of the doorway of the home. She suffered severe smoke inhalation injuries. Her 28-year-old husband was injured as he tried to reach the bedroom where the children were. He suffered cuts, smoke inhalation and both second and third degree burns.
As firefighters worked to search for two remaining children, they learned that a neighbor entered the home before the arrival of the initial first responders and found the 5- and 7-year-old boys crawling on the floor. The neighbor took care of those two children until EMS arrived.
The children who survived, along with their mother and her husband, were taken to Memorial Hermann Hospital The Woodlands. The woman was later taken by Life Flight medical helicopter to Memorial Hermann Hospital - Texas Medical Center to be treated for severe smoke inhalation.
Montgomery County Fire Marshal's Office investigators entered the home after the fire was under control and determined in an initial examination that the fire started in the kitchen and spread to the living room and attic, which filled the house with smoke and toxic gases.
There were smoke alarms installed in the house, but because they were older models powered by the home electrical system, they were not activated.
Initial autopsy results indicate that the two children died as a result of smoke inhalation.
"...2:30 in the morning trying to get the family up, trying to break windows, neighbors breaking windows trying to get children out of the house," described Montgomery County Fire Marshal Jimmy Williams. "A very chaotic scene."
Officials say heat from the fire was at such a level that it melted the boot of one of the first firefighters inside the burning home.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.