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'The babies are in there:' 3-year-old twin girls pulled from burning Everett apartment

3-alarm fire burns Everett Apartment Building. (Photo: Allison Berg)

EVERETT, Wash. - Twin sisters were pulled from a burning apartment in a three-alarm fire in Everett Monday. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

The girls, both 3 years old, were rushed to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

A hospital spokeswoman said the girls were in intensive care.

One is satisfactory condition. The other is in serious condition, the spokeswoman said.

The girls were alone in the apartment at the time of the fire, investigators told KOMO News. The apartment did not have sprinklers.

They were trapped in a bedroom, and the bedroom door may have acted as a barrier and protected them, investigators said.

Crews responded to the scene at the Olin Fields Apartments on the 10100 block of Holly Drive at approximately 1 P.M. after receiving reports of a fire and possible trapped children.

"I’m still shocked about the whole day, how it just all unfolded so fast. And just watching and putting life in perspective," said neighbor Joe Kedrowski, who had to evacuate from his apartment along with his family.

"It’s depressing. It’s sad that those homes got burned," said neighbor Chris Thivodeaux.

The fire started in the ground-floor apartment with the two sisters inside. No one knew the sisters were trapped until a family member showed up outside the apartment, witnesses said.

"There was a young lady in the middle of the road screaming, 'The babies are in there! The babies are in there!'" said Erica Nease.

"I came out to walk my dog...I looked over and that whole bottom (of the apartment building) was flames going up to the top," said Annamarie Onesti. "I've never seen anything like it, it was horrible."

The woman tried to get into the apartment but couldn't, Nease said.

"She said, 'My kids are in there. My kids are in there,'" said Allison Berg.

Neighbors tried to break into the apartment.

The fire moved to the second and third floors as firefighters arrived. They pulled one girl out who was on a bed, then went back in to get a second who was wedged between the bed and a wall.

"That was really tough," Berg said. "I couldn't watch. I saw the first child come out, then I had to go in the apartment cause I couldnt' see anything else."

A family member was supposed to be watching the girls, firefighters said.

A firefighter also suffered a minor hand injury while responding to the fire.

Eight apartments were damaged or destroyed by the fire, investigators said.

Investigators have a couple of theories on how the fire started, but they need to narrow those down, a fire department spokesman told KOMO News on Monday night. On Tuesday, they plan to follow-up on interviews with several tenants, he added.

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