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CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee -(WDEF) Tragedy struck an East Chattanooga neighborhood after a house fire killed a small child and injured its sibling and mother.
It happened shortly before 10 a.m. on the 2000 block of Rawlings Street.
Chattanooga police officers were already on patrol in the area when the call came into 911 about a house fire. Once on scene, they were reportedly told by neighbors that two babies were in the burning home.
"The police officers attempted to make their entry into the house themselves but they were blocked by security bars. They did find one way they could possibly make it in," said public information officer Bruce Garner of the Chattanooga Fire Dept.
According to reports, the flames and smoke were too intense for the officers so they had to rely on firefighters who had arrived a short time later.
"Two of the firefighters found a way through some broken security bars at the read of the structure and made their way inside," Garner said.
One firefighter found an infant on the floor and quickly removed it from the house then ran back inside only to find another infant on the floor.
Investigators have confirmed the mother was also involved in the blaze but it's unclear if she was actually in the house when the fire erupted.
"I'm still gathering information and not really sure at this point where the mother was at this point so we're trying to ascertain that but at some point we believe she might have made entry into the house because she suffered from burns and smoke inhalation," Garner said when speaking about the initial investigation.
Authorities have confirmed one of the children died on scene. The other child was airlifted to Joseph M. Still Burn Center
in Augusta Georgia where it was last listed in critical condition. The mother was taken to Erlanger Hospital
with burn injures and smoke inhalation.
Investigators have yet to determine what caused the blaze.