AUSTIN -- Austin firefighters had to fight through flames to rescue two children trapped in a house after a fire broke out early Monday morning.
All seven individuals sleeping in the structure that caught fire were taken to hospital. A pregnant 16-year-old and a 65-year-old man were both airlifted to a hospital in San Antonio. A 16-year-old girl and an 11-year-old-girl were airlifted to a hospital in Galveston. All four are being treated for smoke inhalation in burn units.
Three teenage boys were treated and released from University Medical Center Brackenridge and Dell Children's Medical Center for minor injuries.
Fire crews had to run through flames to rescue two children trapped in the back bedroom of the house. The room had no windows.
AFD said a woman sleeping in a small building near the house woke up to screams from the people in the back room. The woman reportedly ran out to a side window of the house and tried to pull off a window air conditioning unit so those inside the room could escape.
Battalion Chief Palmer Buck with Austin Fire Department said the blaze broke out at 5:15 a.m. on East 14th Street near Alamo Street. Firefighters quickly extinguished the flames.
The fire shut down several blocks of the street to make room for emergency crews.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Investigators posted signs asking the public for information. They have not ruled out accidental causes, but have also not ruled out arson.
"At this point we are considering all possibilities. There's no way for us to point a finger in one direction or another," said arson investigator Lt. Daniel Fiero.