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2 Children Killed In Apartment Fire, Crews Find Them Hiding Behind A Couch

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A fire at a San Bernardino apartment early Thursday morning claimed the lives of two young children and left their father seriously injured.

When firefighters arrived at the apartment located on the 200 block of West 14th Street around 3:05 a.m., they heard screams coming from inside the home, according to KTLA. They found the father, who is in his 40s, lying on the ground in the apartment seriously injured; he had burns and had trouble breathing, the L.A. Times reported.

Crews then discovered the two-year-old boy and six-year-old girl unconscious and not breathing, hiding behind a couch.

"They were both together," San Bernardino City Fire Department Engineer Rodd Mascis told NBC Los Angeles. "It is very common for children to hide from a fire."

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The family was rushed to the Arrowhead Regional Medical Center. The children were pronounced dead when they arrived at the hospital and the father is in critical condition.

Firefighters put out the fire in 20 minutes.

A family friend, Arlene Gonzalez, told KTLA that the mother went to a hospital Wednesday evening because she was going into labor. She wasn't sure if the mother had given birth yet, but Gonzalez had plans to visit her in the hospital soon.

"The 2 kids were very good kids, very loving, very happy kids every day," Gonzales told NBC Los Angeles. "Mother and father, very good parents. We always seen them every day (the) kids, every day they would meet us and greet us at the door. It's just a tragedy... what happened this morning."

Authorities are investigating the cause of the fire.