Two toddlers went into cardiac arrest after suffering smoke inhalation in a fire that broke out in a Brooklyn apartment early Saturday morning, officials said.
The children, a 3-year-old girl and a 4-year-old boy, were in critical but stable condition after being taken to Brookdale Hospital, authorities said. An adult also had minor injuries.
Neighbors say it will be difficult to forget the efforts to rescue the children.
"They put the face mask on them and kept pumping, and pumping and pumping," said Johnny Irizarry.
Officials said the fire started at around 2:30 a.m. in the master bedroom of an apartment at 373 Blake Avenue in Brownsville.
More than 60 firefighters tackled the flames, and the heat and smoke were so dense that residents found it difficult to escape.
"The hallways were dark," said Lestine Rambert. "It was hard to find your way out. It was hard to breathe, it really was."
Neighbors said two older children who were in the apartment with the toddlers were able to get out on their own. Their mother reportedly wasn't at home.
Firefighters found the 3-year-old girl and 4-year-old boy inside a bedroom.
"The children were unconscious, laying on the floor," said FDNY Captain Christopher Eysser. "The conditions in the fire apartment were zero visibility."
The firefighters said they didn't know if the toddlers would survive.
"When I got down here it looked like the girl was starting to breathe, but the boy? Blank stare, lifeless," said Anthony Arroyo, one of the firefighters, who performed CPR on the child.
It was unclear how the blaze started.