Two young brothers died early Tuesday morning after a fire broke out inside the family's DeSoto home before dawn, authorities say.
Emergency crews were called at about 4:30 a.m. to a 2-story house along the 100 block of Wildwood Court, a DeSoto city spokesman said.
Police officers who were in the area and arrived first were forced to stay away from the building because of intense flames spreading throughout the residence.
After several adults and children safely escaped the fire, first responders learned there were still two boys, ages 1- and 2 years old, in a second-story bedroom.
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Firefighters used a ladder to reach the bedroom, which was fully engulfed in smoke and flames, and pulled the two children from the burning home.
The children, whose names have not yet been confirmed, were taken to a hospital where they were later pronounced deceased.
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No other injuries were reported.
"The City of DeSoto would like to extend our condolences to the family of the children who perished in this morning’s fire," a city news release read.
Versey Washington, who lives across the street from the home, said she woke up to find the flashing lights and that when she went outside the home was engulfed in fire.
Washington said later in the morning she sat and talked with a firefighter she described as "torn apart."
"We sat right there on the planter in the front and I just kind of consoled him and told him that I knew he had a tough job. I could tell he was really broken apart," Washington said.
Washington said the the children that live across the street were lively and very friendly.
"They would come out and play. If I was out doing the yard, they would come over, 'Hi, Mrs. Washington, hi!'" Washington said. "The loss of a child is really tough, probably for the community. It's going to be really tough."
In a tweet, DeSoto police said the Texas State Fire Marshal's Office is assisting in the investigation into what caused the fire, which has not yet been confirmed.
“We’ll do things for children and take risks that we probably shouldn’t, it’s probably a lost cause, but we will give a child everything we have,” said an emotional DeSoto Fire Chief Jerry Duffield.
Firefighters climbed up to the children's room on the second floor and pulled the two out within minutes of arriving, according to the police department.
“They performed CPR all the way to the hospital to try to save those little babies and they couldn’t, and it hits you. It does,” DeSoto Police Department spokesman Pete Schulte said.
Video from Texas Sky Ranger showed investigators examining charred debris in what appeared to be the rear portion of the 2-story home Tuesday afternoon.
Police say they were familiar with the house and have previously responded to "serious domestic violence" incidents among some of the adults.
There is no indication that a criminal act was committed in this incident, according to Schulte.
“It’s not that the adults didn’t try to get up there, but the flames were so intense they just couldn’t get up the stairs,” Schulte said. “I want to be clear, this could be a tragic accident and we feel for the family right now.”
Counseling services are being offered to first responders who responded to the fire.
“I’ve been doing this job for well over 30 years and I can tell you, I can see every child I ever went on that had a bad outcome,” Duffield said. “It’s just the weight you do in this job. That’s just part of it. Children are special.”
A family member has set up a GoFundMe page to help the mother with funeral costs.