Two Waterloo girls are hospitalized after being pulled from a burning home this morning by firefighters. The fire broke out around 12:30 this morning in a two-story home on the city’s east side.

Firefighters arriving at the scene found the front of the home was fully engulfed and that four people had escaped the blaze. They also learned that two girls were still asleep in an upstairs bedroom toward the back of the house. Firefighters used a latter to rescue one of the girls through an upstairs window.

The other girl was taken out of the home through the front door after the fire was brought under control. Battalion Chief Mike Junk says both girls, identified as five-year-old Trinity Engle and six-year-old Tellshyiah Engle, were both unconscious when they were rescued. Junk says the girls were taken to a nearby hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation.

One was later transferred to University Hospitals in Iowa City. The four people who escaped the home — James Engle; his wife, Melissa; a one-year-old girl and a 10-year-old boy – weren’t seriously injured, but all were examined by doctors at a Waterloo hospital. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

By Elwin Huffman, KOEL, Oelwein