Local News

Friday, May 25 2012 07:35 PM

Two toddlers die in Edison trailer fire started by matches

  1. 1 of 4

    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    Arson investigators take photos Friday afternoon at the structure where two young children died due to smoke inhalation, according to Kern County Fire Capt. Tommy Brown. The children were believed to be 2 to 3 years old.

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  2. 2 of 4

    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    Two chaplains help family members and friend Friday in Edison, where two children lost their lives in a structure fire. They were believed to be 2 to 3 years old and apparently died from smoke inhalation.

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  3. 3 of 4

    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    A Kern County firefighter douses the trailer, Friday afternoon, in Edison, where two infants died earlier in this structure on Atlantic Street.

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  4. 4 of 4

    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    A Kern County firefighter stands near a child's ball Friday afternoon in front of the structure where two young children believed to be between 2 and 3 years old apparently died from smoke inhalation from the burning trailer in Edison.

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By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN

EDISON -- Two young girls died Friday in a harrowing trailer fire authorities say was sparked by another child who struck a match.

The children, believed to be 2 to 3 years old, were playing in the trailer in the 12200 block of Atlantic Street with two boys, believed to be 4 to 5 years old, Kern County Fire Department Capt. Tommy Brown said.

One of the boys is believed to have struck a match, prompting both boys to flee the trailer and shut the door behind them, trapping the two girls, the captain said.

"The trailer was totally engulfed," Brown said.

All four children live near the trailer. It wasn't know where the parents or other adults were at the time of the 1:47 p.m. blaze, Brown said.

Family and friends of the four children, who authorities said are believed to be cousins, gathered around the sparse gravel parking lot near the trailer, now a heap of charred metal. Several declined to talk to news reporters.

The parents of the two girls arrived at the scene later.

"You couldn't get one word out of him, he was just crying," Brown said, describing the father of one of the dead girls.

Two small boys were later brought to the trailer separately by investigators, where they stood next to the unrecognizable structure and spoke for about five minutes.

Small groups of bystanders stood on the porches of houses surrounding the trailer, watching the somber scene unfold.

Firefighters believe no one was living in the trailer at the time of the fire and Brown said it was unclear how the children got inside the trailer.

"I'm thinking it was unlocked," Brown said. "I don't know how somebody around 4 years old could figure out how to get in there."

The incident is still under investigation.

Edison is about 10 miles east of downtown Bakersfield, off Highway 58.

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