Flames and smoke killed four children Saturday who were caught in a second-story apartment where the windows were blocked by burglar bars, a fire official said.
A 15-year-old girl and her 8-month-old daughter, 8-year-old sister and 1-year-old brother died together in a back bedroom, fire Capt. Don Parker said.
The bedroom had a working smoke detector. Firefighters found some signs that the children may have tried to escape through the windows, which were blocked by metal bars with no release mechanism, Parker said.
"Anyone that was trapped in there couldn't get out," Parker said.
The three oldest children's 3-year-old brother was in a crib in the living room where the fire apparently started and was in critical condition at Children's Hospital.
Firefighters extinguished the one-alarm fire within about 20 minutes of receiving the call about 5 a.m.
The mother told authorities she was not in the apartment when the fire started, Parker said. Investigators have not determined how the blaze began, he said.