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Family members rescue young children from house fire

HOUSTON – Two family members, including a toddler, remain in the hospital after a fire broke out in their North Houston home Wednesday.

Fire officials said someone dialed 911 about 1:30 a.m. Wednesday desperate for help. Four siblings - a 20-year-old, a 14-year-old, a 2-year-old and a 1-year-old - had all become trapped inside the home with their uncle.

According to witnesses, the fire spread quickly through the home on Barkley Street near Oxford Street.  "I was asleep and when I woke up a lot of smoke was in my face, so I just ran out the back door," said S. Briones, who was inside the home with his two young nieces, their father and their great-uncle.  

Once Briones was outside he and a neighbor saw the father of the girls breaking glass, trying to get them out through a window.  "I heard his brother-in-law shouting 'Help! Help! Help!'," said Juan Sanchez, who lives across the street.

When fire crews arrived on the scene all five family members had made it out of the house.  "I got them blankets, and right away I just called 911 and started panicking," Sanchez said.  "I didn't know what to do because the little baby was losing a lot of blood."

The 14-year-old, who wasn't hospitalized, described how the family managed to escape. The boy said he had to break a window of the home and then throw his younger siblings through the broken glass. The older siblings, along with their uncle, then climbed through the window to get out of the home.

The two girls, ages 1 and 2, were taken to the hospital.  The 1-year-old was released Wednesday morning.  The 2-year-old suffered some serious cuts on her stomach from getting thrown out the window, but family members say she should be OK.

The father of the two girls also remains in the hospital, but should be OK.  The great-uncle and Briones didn't suffer any major injuries. 

The cause of the fire is under investigation.