GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — Three young children, including a three-year-old and twins who were both one year old, are dead in Greensboro.
Dwayne Church with the Greensboro Fire Department confirmed that first responders were called to a fire at a house on Grimsley Street in Greensboro, just off West Gate City Boulevard near the Greensboro Coliseum, just before 8 a.m. Monday.
They learned that there were possibly three children trapped in the house while units were en route to the home, and they made it to the home within four minutes of the call.
There was fire showing from all windows and doors of the home when they arrived and they went into “offensive” mode and it took the responders around 5 minutes to get the fire down enough to get inside. Neighbors told them which room the children were in. It took about five minutes to “knock down the main body of the fire” and get inside to the children.
Firefighters found the children in a bedroom of the single-story house, and crews pulled them out through the bedroom window, but they died at the scene.
According to neighbors, the mother had, at one point, seven kids in the house, but there was no one else in the home at the time of the fire. A family member confirmed the mother has six children. The Greensboro Police Department is working to locate any other children who might live in the home.
The mother of the children was taken to the hospital. She was conscious and alert when she was taken to the hospital.
Three other siblings were at school at the time.
Over 30 firefighters remain on the scene and nine chief officers. The Fire Marshal is investigating to determine the cause. The children will be taken to the medical examiner to determine the cause of death.
“This is devasting. This is devasting to the Fire Department, devastating to the community and this family,” Church said.
He said that peer support would be available for the firefighters who responded to this fire, to check in and take care of their mental health.
“For some of our firefighters, this is the first time they’ve seen anything like this,” he said.
Greensboro Police Department says that Grimsley Street at West Gate City Boulevard will remain closed for “an undetermined amount of time.”
“We would remind our viewers, please make sure, especially around the holiday season, make sure you have a working smoke alarm.” They go on to say that they will give families a free smoke detector and install it too.
“I would say to our community, keep this family in your thoughts and prayers as well as the first responders,” Church said. “This is not the way we want to celebrate the Christmas season. Lots of first responders who will be on the scene for a while.”
Church said he could not imagine the devastation this family is going through, and that these calls are always difficult for first responders, who think of their own children at home.
“Keep us in your thoughts and prayers at this time.”