2 Children Die In Lawrence Electrical Fire

Two children died early Tuesday when an intense electrical fire swept through a Lawrence apartment building.

State Fire Marshal Stephen Coan said two young boys were found in a bedroom of a third-floor apartment in the six-unit building. At a press briefing later Tuesday, Coan said it was ruled an accidental fire resulting from decades-old electrical wiring.

Officials have not released the victims' names and ages. They are believed to be brothers.

The four-alarm blaze was reported after 3 a.m. Tuesday. It originated on the first floor and traveled up the building, Coan said. Tweets from the Lawrence Police Department showed flames shooting from the roof.

Massiel De Aza was asleep on the first floor of the building when she awoke early Tuesday to someone throwing rocks at her window. That person was trying to warn her about the fire.

"I literally thought they were breaking in the house or like stealing or something, but no, he screamed fire, so I grabbed my son and got out as soon as I could," De Aza said.

De Aza said the two boys who died moved in over the summer, and she hadn't met them.

Two firefighters were injured attempting to reach the children.

Coan said the building had a hard-wired alarm system in common areas and battery-powered smoke alarms in the apartments.

Displaced residents were sheltered at a nearby church. Mayor Daniel Rivera, who called the fire "a terrible tragedy," said the city will do all it can to help the affected families.

With reporting by The Associated Press and the WBUR Newsroom

- More photos from the scene:

This article was originally published on October 21, 2014.


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