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FDNY Rescues 3 Children From Bronx Apartment Blaze, Mother Facing Charges

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A fast-moving fire trapped three children inside a Bronx home on Monday morning. They had to be rescued by firefighters.

Police said the girls' mother brought her 7-year-old son to the hospital for an unspecified injury and left the three girls, who range in age from 16 months to 6 years old, home alone. They were found on the second floor struggling to breathe, firefighters told CBS2's Alice Gainer.

As smoke poured out the two-story building on Burke Avenue in the Allerton section of the borough, neighbors could only watch as firefighters streamed in. In all, approximately 60 first responders answered the call.

"Windows blown out, fire coming out," Miasotis Linares said.

Linares was the one who called 911 at around 9:30 a.m. She said her stomach turned when she realized there were kids inside.

"One of the firemen came out with a lifeless child, ran into the ambulance, put the child down and commenced CPR," Linares said.

"Our members did do advanced life support. They did advanced cardiac life support," Deputy Assistant Chief Paul Miano confirmed.

As EMS personnel assisted the child, onlookers realized she wasn't alone.

"A few minutes later two more children came out. They ran these kids to the ambulance and they worked on these kids," Linares said.

Ladder 32 Capt. Daniel McEnroe helped save the oldest of the three, CBS2's Kevin Rincon reported.

"They were all on the bed. Right above them was a window. Firefighter Boney took the window. I pushed out the air conditioner. The room lit up a little bit where we could see. We saw the three kids. They looked like they were sleeping. You know, they were all huddled together. They looked like they were sleeping and then we just moved as fast as we can to get them out," McEnroe said.

McEnroe is, himself, a father of three. Deputy Assistant Chief Joseph Ferrante said things could have been much worse.

"This could've been a tragedy, a real bad tragedy, and we were able to get to those children this morning," he said.

"Don't leave your kids home by themselves. You never know what happens," Linares said.

The children were rushed to Jacobi Medical Center in critical but stable condition and are expected to OK.

Both parents were questioned by police. On Monday evening, 33-year-old mother was charged with three counts of endangering the welfare of a child. In addition, Administration for Children's Services has launched an investigation.

Earlier, the FDNY announced the cause of the fire was ruled accidental by fire marshals, adding there was a smoke alarm inside, but it wasn't operational.

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