Lamar County Fire Rescue responded to a report of a house fire shortly after 7 a.m. Sunday in the 1900 block of Ga. 36 East, about 50 miles south of Atlanta.
The responders found the home 40 percent engulfed in flames. Several residents who had escaped and were in the yard said two girls were still inside.
Firefighters deployed hoses and plunged into the home, rescuing one girl out a back bedroom window and the other through a front window.
Both were in critical condition, suffering from smoke inhalation, Lamar Fire Chief Stephen C. Andrews told the AJC. One was flown to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston, and the other was taken by ambulance to Spalding Regional Hospital and later flown to Egleston.
Anna's older sister, age 14, remained hospitalized Tuesday.
A total of eight occupants of the home – all extended family members except for an older female friend of the family – were taken to hospitals, Andrews said.
“There are still two adults being treated at hospitals for smoke inhalation, but they’re stable. They’re just on ventilators to help clear their lungs,” Andrews said Monday afternoon. “They were older ladies – one a grandmother, the other a friend who lived in the home with them.”
Responding fire units were from Lamar County, city of Barnesville, Butts County and the Diagnostic Center at Jackson, with EMS Units from Mid-Georgia Ambulance Service in Lamar and Pike counties and EMS Units from Butts County.
No emergency personnel were injured responding to the blaze, nor were any neighbors who rushed to the scene to give assistance, Andrews said.
Members of Lamar Fire Rescue and the Lamar Sheriff’s Office are seeking the cause of the fire.
“The probable cause now being looked at by fire investigators is a kerosene heater in the living room,” the fire chief said. “There was no report of any working smoke detectors.”