2 dead, 1 critically injured in South Bend fire

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - A predawn fire roared through one side of a South Bend apartment building Sunday, killing two of its five occupants and injuring two others.

Firefighters arrived at the blaze about 4:30 a.m. Sunday and found the first floor of the building engulfed in flames, and quickly pulled two children from the fire, South Bend Fire Chief Steve Cox said.

The children and two adults were taken to Memorial Hospital. Details on the victims were being withheld pending notification of relatives, Cox told WSBT-TV and the South Bend Tribune.

"It's a pretty tragic situation," Cox said.

Battalion Chief David Maenhout told the TV station that the fire appeared to have started in the living room, but it wasn't clear what ignited the blaze.

Investigators will be at the scene for days going through the rubble, trying to determine the cause, Maenhout said.

No firefighters recalled hearing smoke detectors at the scene, but they weren't sure if any were present because of the noisy operation, Maenhout said.

The apartment building on the city's southeast side is government-subsidized and operated by the South Bend Housing Authority.

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