Investigators: 2 kids die in Cle Elum house fire

CLE ELUM, Wash. -- Several emergency response agencies are now picking up the pieces in Friday night's devastating fire in Cle Elum. Two young boys, ages three and four, trapped inside are dead.

Investigators have been on scene all day, including Yakima Fire.
It's a tragedy that has shaken this close-knit community on the 300 block of West Third Street in Cle Elum.

"Our hearts go out to the family. This is a terrible tragedy," said PIO for Kittitas County Fire District Seven, Richelle Ridden.

Cle Elum's police chief tells me the fire started just after noon on Friday.

Four people were inside the house, two adults and two kids. The mother of the boys and a friend made it out.

The flames were so intense and the smoke too thick for firefighters to go into the house.

Neighbors say they heard an explosion and children screaming from inside. They watched the flames engulf everything.

"I saw the flames bursting out of the windows," said neighbor Michael Otto.

"They were just coming out the window and up along the house," said neighbor Marshall Stewart.

Marshall Stewart lives across the street from where the boys used to live. He saw the family the other day in passing and now he's left with a painful memory.

"Really close friends with the family and it's just devastating to have something like that happen and it's just breathtaking. It's shocking and you would never think that that would happen. I had a couple breakdowns," said Stewart.

Not only neighbors, but emergency workers say they are distraught by what happened.

"It's been a tough week for Upper Kittitas County. We're a very tight knit community and this affects everybody. This affects neighbors, this affects firemen. This is a tough situation for us," said Cle Elum Police Chief Scott Ferguson.

"I can't believe it. Like just crazy," said Otto.

Officials have not yet determined the cause of the blaze. They have been on scene all day investigating and will continue into the evening.

Cle Elum Police have not yet stated the names of the two boys and mother. The mother was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Officials are still working on the investigation. We will update you as more information is released.