Baltimore fire department spokesman Ian Brennan defended the department's response and said the first fire engine arrived in three minutes.
The victims have not yet been identified, but neighbors said they were a girl about 5 years old who attended nearby Curtis Bay Elementary School
and a boy about 18 months old.
The man killed was their father, who died trying to save his
girlfriend and their children, neighbors said.
said the woman who escaped was taken to the University of Maryland's
Shock Trauma Center.
said the 911 call was dispatched at 4:05 a.m. and that Engine 57, which is stationed at a fire house a third of a mile away, arrived at 4:08.
"I understand that when someone is on the scene, 10 seconds feels like a minute and a minute feels like an hour," Brennan
"I can't speak to what people say they saw.
I don't have any indication that [firefighters] did anything other than their job."
Flames had spread to both floors when firefighters arrived, Brennan
said, and the cause of the fire and whether the home had working smoke detectors is under investigation.
Adjacent houses were severely damaged by smoke, fire and water and those residents were awaiting the arrival of a building inspector.
"The firefighters attacked it as aggressively as we could but sadly we couldn't save the three victims," Brennan
The fire department may open an investigation into the response if a formal complaint is filed, Brennan
Neighbor Robin Gwin was crying as she
watched firefighters work on the scene a few hours after the fire began.
woke up about an hour after the fire began but was upset about what her
neighbors that witnessed the situation told her
"Those kids were like my grandchildren," she
said as her
own children hugged her
"Are you kidding me?"
Gwin said firefighters told her
the fire started in the home's kitchen, and she
suspects it may have started with a faulty electrical system there.
"Every time you go to plug something up, it would blow the breakers in the house," she
Faison's wife, Autumn, said she
stayed with the children's mother after she
had jumped to the ground, and later went to grab warm clothing for her
before the ambulance arrived.