A house fire in the Green Meadows neighborhood of South Los Angeles has claimed the lives of twin boys, Bryson and Brenton Foster, age 2. Their father, Benjamin Fortson, who tried in vain to rescue them, is in critical condition at an area hospital.
The fire broke out shortly after 9 p.m. on Tuesday. When neighbors saw the flames, they ran to help. Charlotte Fortson, 24, was standing outside of the house, located in the 800 block of East 113th Street, with her 4-year-old daughter screaming that her other children were trapped inside.
Malcolm Howard, 22, told the Los Angeles Times that he and another neighbor tried to pry the security bars off the windows. When the bars became too hot, Howard used a sledgehammer to bash at the frame.
When firefighters arrived, they used axes to gain entry to the home and emerged from the smoke and flames with the little boys in their arms. Bryson and Brenton were transported to the hospital where they were pronounced dead.
Officials have not yet determined the source of the fire, but a police officer at the scene said a Christmas tree may have played a role.