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Toddler sisters killed in NYC fire after mom goes to laundromat

NEW YORK -- Investigators say burning incense caused a New York City fire that killed two toddler sisters.

The Fire Department of New York also said Thursday that there were no working smoke detectors in the third-floor apartment at a public housing project in the Bronx where the girls lived.

The fire Wednesday evening claimed the lives of 18-month-old Amanda Jabie and her 2-year-old sister, Jannubi.

The girls were home alone at the time of the blaze while their mother was at a laundromat across the street, CBS New York reported. The girls' mother was seen on surveillance video at a laundromat across the street at the time of the fire, which broke out in apartment 3F at the Butler Houses around 6 p.m. Wednesday.

About 10 other people, including several firefighters, were treated for minor injuries.

Despite their best efforts, the conditions made it impossible for neighbors to reach the two toddlers, CBS New York reported.

"We heard kids crying, but it was too black and we couldn't breathe," said neighbor Daven Jackson.

"I was in here and I heard the babies crying and I thought somebody was in there with them," said neighbor Gladys Dozier.

The family next door couldn't escape either, putting wet towels under their door until help arrived.

"I open the door to a bunch of black smoke," said neighbor Tisha Dozier. "I closed the door back."

It wasn't immediately clear whether any charges would be filed.

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