Grandmother, 2 grandchildren killed in Hunting Park fire

A grandmother and her two grandchildren are dead following a house fire in Hunting Park on Saturday.

Around 1:15 p.m., crews responded to a two-story home completely engulfed in flames on the 4200 block of North Reese Street.

A 60-year-old grandmother and her two grandchildren, whom she had been babysitting, were found unresponsive in the home. The two children, a boy and a girl, were under the age of seven.

"Our folks had to breach the door to get inside and they encountered a heavy load of fire inside and it made it more difficult to move," said Assistant Fire Chief Tony Sneidar.

Neighbor Jean Rodriguez was heartbroken.

"I said, 'Oh my God, I hope she's not in there because she's always with her grandkids. She's raising her grandkids, basically," said Rodriguez. "Her two grandkids… they were so sweet and respectful."

The assistant fire chief says his men did everything they could, but the home was filled with furniture, clothing and other items that burned hot and fast. Firefighters looked sullen as they coiled their hoses and cleaned up.

"It's a difficult thing. It all adds up and it's cumulative," Chief Sneidar explained. "We did have the chance to have the mother here and speak with her and, you can imagine, she's obviously distraught at this point in time."

Officials say there were no smoke detectors in the home.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.