Fire officials say there were no working smoke alarms in an upper apartment where a fire killed three young sisters in Milwaukee.
Two toddler boys playing with a cigarette lighter accidentally started the fire early Sunday, killing their cousins. The girls are six-year-old Iralisha Hinton, three-year-old Zaria Hudson and two-year-old Zacarra Hinton.
Police Captain Sue Edman says after they saw the fire the boys ran to the room of their mother and her sister.
The women broke a window and screamed and a man next door heard them.
He then broke his bathroom window and helped the women and boys across the approximate six-foot space into his apartment.
Edman says the women were overcome by smoke and couldn't go back to rescue to the girls.
She says the girls' mother, who is the women's sister, had dropped the girls off earlier and came back after the fire started.
Milwaukee fire department Lieutenant Lawrence Jenkins say smoke detectors save more lives than fire fighters.
(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)