The fire trucks were still pulling up to the end rowhouse on North Clinton Street in East Baltimore when a neighbor, Nicole Carter, learned of the fire spreading through the second floor of the structure next door.
"I just felt an explosion and my house shook, and the first thing I did was say, 'What in the world was that?' and then I came to my back door and looked and the glass was busting out of the windows," Carter said.
Carter ducked back inside her home and ran out her front door, where she pulled out her cellphone and captured the blurry moments when firefighters approached the mother of four children still trapped inside the home.
"She just was like, 'Oh my God! Oh my God! My house!' Carter said. “So that's when the lady was like, 'My babies!’ and that's when on my video she fell to the floor and was like, 'The babies! The babies!' and then they went in there and they brought the babies out."
Firefighters recovered the bodies of two young children from an upstairs bedroom and two others, a 5-year-old and a 2-year-old, made it out alive.
The victims have now been identified as 3-year-old Nigel Ramirez and 9-month-old Exekial Ramirez.
While the victim's mother suffered minor burns when she was apparently trying to reach them, neighbors are raising questions over her whereabouts leading up to the fire.
"The parent, from what I understand, had gone down to the store to get a loaf of bread and left the little kids in the house," said Joel Ross, who lives next door.
"I know for sure that if you ask anybody around here that saw her earlier that day, a couple of minutes before it happened she was not in the house," Carter said.
Fire officials say the fire is still under investigation.