2 Toddlers Killed in 'Totally Devastating' Calif. House Fire That Injured 3 Other Family Members

Rachel DeSantis
·2 min read

Two young toddlers were killed and six people were hospitalized following an afternoon fire in California on Monday.

The fire broke out in a single-story home in the 32900 block of Blackwell Drive just before 3 p.m., killing two civilians and injuring five adults and one child, a spokesperson for the Riverside County Fire Department confirms to PEOPLE. Several neighbors were among the six people hospitalized, according to KTLA.

The fatalities were identified as 2-year-old Julian Alcarez and his 16-month-old sister Arya Alcarez, according to CW affiliate KTLA.

The outlet reported that the children's mother was able to escape the blaze alongside her 90-year-old grandmother, who was in a wheelchair, and Arya's twin sister.

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A GoFundMe page organized by family friend Stephanie Heer said that the children's grandmother Julia Sharp, who reportedly was not home at the time of the fire, also lost her three beloved dogs to the flames.

"It is unimaginable, and totally devastating," Heer wrote. "Julia has a heart of GOLD! She helps countless people and countless animals. Our hearts are all breaking for her."

Heer said Julia's mom Baba is in "extremely critical condition" with burns covering 90 percent of her body, while Julia's daughter Devinn has burns on 30 percent of her body. Devinn's daughter Amaya received burns on 20 percent of her body.

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All three were hospitalized and placed into medically induced comas following the fire, but Devinn and Amaya were awake and recovering by Wednesday, Heer said.

"Julia really is one of those people that would give her shirt off her back for you even if she didn't know you. She is utterly selfless," Heer wrote. "Her family is her world and our hearts are broken for the infinite loss yesterday."

The fire department spokesperson says battling the blaze was made more difficult due to a downed power line in the front yard.

It took just over an hour to contain, and the cause remains under investigation.

"I can't process it," Heer told KCBS. "It's just not fathomable. You can't put words to it, really."