(Photo: East Jefferson Fire-Rescue)

(Photo: East Jefferson Fire-Rescue)

California fire kills 2 girls and dad who attempted rescue

HEMET, Calif. — A father and two of his young daughters died as a fire tore through their Southern California apartment early Friday after he went back inside to try and rescue children, police said.

The man’s 8-year-old son was also found gravely injured in the apartment in the city of Hemet and was flown to a hospital, Hemet police spokesman Lt. Jeff Davis said in a statement.

Family members were asleep when the fire broke out in their second-floor unit in the apartment complex in Hemet, 75 miles (120 kilometres) southeast of Los Angeles, said Lt. Nate Miller.

The 41-year-old father got his wife, their infant and their 11-year-old child out of the apartment before he returned for their other children. The girls who died were 12 and 4 years old.

The man’s wife told police the fire had started in their apartment, Davis said in the statement. The cause of the fire is under investigation but Miller said there was nothing to indicate any criminal aspect to the fire.

The names of the victims were not immediately made public.

The Associated Press

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