MILWAUKEE -- Milwaukee firefighters will be going door-to-door in the neighborhood near Swan and Allyn on the city's northwest side, offering fire safety education materials, checking for working smoke alarms and installing new alarms as necessary. This effort comes in the wake of a fire in which two children, ages four and two, died.
The fire broke out around 5:15 a.m. on Sunday, September 24th. Fire crews arrived on the scene with reports there were people trapped. Those firefighters encountered heavy smoke and a large volume of fire coming from the structure.
Officials say firefighters attempted an aggressive fire attack and search. But after a short time, they had to get to safety.
"Those firefighters came out that front door smoldering," said Deputy Chief Aaron Lipski. "We have two firefighters suffer burns in this attempt."
Unfortunately, the children, identified as two-year-old Stephanie Robinson and her four-year-old brother Romeo Robinson, died from their injuries.
Lourdes Deleon, the grandmother of the children, said neighbors tried to help.
"They heard my grandkids crying, trying to get to there, and they couldn't get in there because the fire was too bad," Deleon said.
Fire officials say the children were located on the second and fourth floors of the home. Somehow their father managed to survive. He was pulled out of the burning building and is hospitalized.
"Right now, they got him sedated. They are getting all that smoke out of his lungs," Deleon said. "He's got second degree burns on his arms."
Deleon said her daughter is distraught and inconsolable by the tragic loss. They have not been able to tell the kids' father the painful news.
"That was his pride and joy. Those were his babies," Deleon said.
In the meantime, if you are in need of a smoke alarm, please call the Smoke Alarm Hotline at the number listed below.
Arrangements will be made for Milwaukee firefighters to come to your residence and install a smoke alarm free of charge.
SMOKE ALARM HOTLINE: 414-286-8980
The Milwaukee Fire Department noted that the deaths of the children are the four the fifth fire fatalities in the City of Milwaukee for 2017.