A late December blaze consumed a home in the Green Meadows neighborhood of Los Angeles, killing twin brothers and injuring other family members. Both firefighters and neighbors attempted to pull free hot window security bars in attempts to free the boys, but their efforts ultimately were in vain. The two-year-old twins were pronounced dead at the hospital.
Neighbor Malcolm Howard, 22, says he was outside when the fire broke out. He heard a woman scream and, turning around, saw flames shooting out from the Green Meadows home. He rushed to the home where the mother of the twins, Charlotte Forston, 24, stood outside with her daughter.
“My babies are inside the house, my babies are inside the house!” He says Forston screamed.
As firefighters rushed to the scene, Howard and another neighbor tried desperately to use a sledgehammer to smash the security bars off a window in an attempt to free the toddlers. During this time, the father, Benjamin Forston, crawled outside to safety.
When firefighters arrived, they found the residence ‘well-involved’ and were unable to safely access the home because of the heavy security door and window features. Firefighters ultimately did recover the boys’ bodies, attempted CPR at rushing them to the hospital. The two boys were pronounced dead on Wednesday and the father listed as in critical condition.
Dangerous Premises & Fire Hazards
Authorities investigating the scene say there is no evidence of foul play but that the cause of the fire may have involved a Christmas tree. They further asserted that the property lacked mandatory smoke alarms or optional fire sprinklers. California law requires the installation of smoke alarms in specific areas of every residence. This is required whether the building is used as a primary home or rental property.
Both smoke detectors and fire sprinklers could have given the Forston family warning of the threat and time to safely evacuate with the twins before the fire grew out of control.
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