The early morning fire ripped through a Baltimore home filled with children. By mid-morning, firefighters were stepping around their toys strewn about the backyard where neighbors often saw them play.
"They're always in the yard. They're always playing," neighbor Robert Spencer said. "They come from school around here, all of them together."
Six of Katie Malone's nine children perished in the fire. Her 8-year-old daughter helped two of her siblings, ages four and five, escape.
The 8-year-old girl awaits her release from the hospital, while her mother and two brothers remain in critical condition. It's the lives of the other six children that now haunts Spencer, who tried to reach them but was pushed back by the intense heat of the flames that consumed the home.
"Just the kids were yelling and it hurt me so bad cause we actually heard them," he said. "Actually heard the kids crying and couldn't do anything."
A GoFundMe page was set up to help the Malone family. The community response has been overwhelming.
**Editor's Note: This story has been updated to identify the surviving children as an 8-year-old girl, a 4-year-old girl and a 5-year-old boy. The Baltimore Fire Department originally reported that both the 4 and 5 year old were boys.