Detroit house fire that killed 2 boys under investigation

Arson investigators try to determine what, who started house fire on Prairie Street

Published On: Dec 24 2013 07:06:00 PM EST   Updated On: Dec 09 2013 03:05:18 PM EST
DETROIT -

A Detroit father left his two boys, ages 1 and 4, home alone for about 10 minutes on Friday and when he returned he could not believe his eyes: His house in the 16000 block of Prairie Street was on fire.

He tried to go inside to rescue his children.

"Everybody threw me down. Nobody would let me get close," he said, requesting he not be named in this story.

When firefighters arrived, neighbors were screaming that there were kids inside the burning home. Firefighters entered immediately and found the children in an upstairs bedroom.

"Before the water was even turned on they were busting through that door trying to get in," said neighbor Clark Washington, Jr. "Maybe a minute or two later they brought one child out and then another minute after that the second child came out."

The boys were rushed to a hospital but they did not survive.

--Mekhi Williams and Damion Washington

Arson investigators are trying to determine what started the fire. Neighbors say they saw two young men in hoodies, in their 30s, running from the house moments before they saw the flames.

Fire kills 2 children who were home alone

LOCAL 4. Guy: I CAN UNDERSTAND HOW THAT FATHER FEELS, ROD. Ruth: IF YOU'RE JUST JOINING US, WE CONTINUE TO FOLLOW A DEVASTATING STORY OF A FIRE THAT KILLED TWO LITTLE BOYS LEFT HOME ALONE IN THEIR DETROIT HOME. OUR WILL JONES IS LIVE FROM THE SCENE ON THE CITY'S WEST SIDE. THIS FIRE SUSPICIOUS, WILL? Will: GUY AND RUTH, FIREFIGHTERS SAY THEY BELIEVE THE FIRE STARTED IN THE AREA OF THE HOME WHERE THERE WERE SPACE HEATERS. RIGHT NOW, THEY'RE NOT RULING ANYTHING OUT. NEIGHBORS BELIEVE THE FIRE WAS ARSON. A DECISION TO LEAVE HIS YOUNG BOYS, AGES 1 AND 4 HOME ALONE THIS FATHER WISHES HE COULD TAKE BACK. HE WAS GONE NO MORE THAN TEN MINUTES, BUT ENOUGH FOR A FIRE TO TAKE THE LIVES OF HIS YOUNG BOYS. WORST FEELING I EVER HAD IN MY LIFE, BY FAR. Will: FIREFIGHTERS FOUND THEM IN AN UPSTAIRS BEDROOM. THE FIRE COULD BE ARSON. NEIGHBORS SPOTTED TWO MEN IN THEIR 30s WEARING HOODIES RUNNING FROM THE HOME. FIREFIGHTERS WENT DOOR TO DOOR, ASKING THOSE NEARBY WHAT THEY SAW. WE'RE LOOKING AT IT VERY SERIOUSLY AND HAVE TO LOOK AT WHAT THE WITNESS IS SAYING AND WE HAVE TO FIND SOMETHING TO SUPPORT HIS STATEMENT. Will: POLICE ARE INVESTIGATING WHY THE FATHER LEFT THE CHILDREN HOME ALONE. NOT A GOOD IDEA, NEVER A GOOD IDEA. CERTAINLY CHILDREN GET INTO THINGS. WE'RE NOT SUGGESTING THAT THE CHILDREN IN THIS INSTANCE STARTED THE FIRE, BUT AGAIN IT'S STILL UNDETERMINED, BUT IT'S NOT A GOOD IDEA. Will: THE MOTHER OF THE CHILDREN HAD TO LEARN ABOUT THEIR DEATH IN JAIL. SHE WAS ARRESTED LAST NIGHT FOR A PROBATION VIOLATION. SO THIS FATHER WAS LEFT IN CHARGE OF FIVE CHILDREN AND THE THREE OTHER CHILDREN AT THE TIME OF THE FIRE WERE AT SCHOOL. LIVE ON THE WEST SIDE, WILL JONES, LOCAL 4. Ruth: AND WILL, DOES THE DAD HAVE ANY IDEA ABOUT WHO MAY HAVE STARTED IF THE FIRE? Will: NEIGHBORS DESCRIBE HIM AS A NICE GUY. HE SAID HE DOES NOT HAVE ANY ENEMIES AND IS SURPRISED THAT SOMETHING LIKE THIS WOULD HAPPEN AT HIS HOME. ARSON INVESTIGATORS ARE TRYING

The father says he has no enemies and wonders who would set his home on fire.

"Police got a description of the vehicle, so whoever did it, they're going to pay anyway. I'll make sure of that," he said.