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Cleveland fire kills 2 children

Baby sitter says unknown man set apartment blaze

CLEVELAND  — Two little girls were killed in an apartment fire that their baby sitter said was set by a man in a hooded sweatshirt who had forced his way in, police said today.

A Cleveland fire official confirmed the deaths of the two girls, ages 2 and 7, in the Thursday night blaze on the city’s east side.

Officers responding to a call of trouble at the four-unit building at about 10 p.m. found it on fire, police said. The girls were asleep in their beds in a second-floor bedroom. They were taken to a hospital, where they were pronounced dead.

The county medical examiner’s office identified them as 7-year-old Glacia Ramsey and 2-year-old Peaches Christburg. The office still is investigating the specifics of the deaths.

The woman who was baby-sitting said an unknown man in a hooded sweatshirt came in and forced her into a bathroom before setting the fire. She stayed in the bathroom until she smelled smoke and realized the building was on fire. She then fled to a house across the street.

Assistant Fire Chief Tim O’Toole told the Northeast Ohio Media Group that details were sketchy late Thursday. He said the fire likely started on the first floor. Investigators hope to know the cause today.

The other three units in the building were unoccupied. A firefighter injured his shoulder inside the home and was taken to a hospital for treatment.

The blaze happened on the same day a house fire killed four people in the Dayton suburb of Kettering.

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