SOUTH LOS ANGELES ( — A pregnant woman and her husband remained hospitalized Wednesday for treatment of injuries sustained in a house fire that claimed the lives of their twin sons.

The fire was reported around 9 p.m. Tuesday in the 800 block of E. 113th Street.

Upon their arrival, firefighters cut through metal bars on the windows, broke through security doors and located the twin 2-year-old boys in a back bedroom.

The boys were pronounced dead at the scene. They have been identified as Brenton and Braeson Fortson.

Neighbors say the father — Benjamin Fortson — attempted to run back inside the burning home to save his children. He was transported by ambulance with burns to his face, and was listed in critical condition.

His wife, Charlotte, who is nine months pregnant, was transported to a hospital as a precaution.

A neighbor rescued a little girl from the home. She was identified as the boys’ 4-year-old sister BreChelle.

CBS2’s Jasmine Viel reported there was no evidence of any working smoke detectors or sprinklers in the home.

Officials say an artificial tree and Christmas decorations may have started the fire. The investigation into the cause of the blaze  ongoing.

CBS2’s Dave Lopez spoke to neighbors who tried in vain to gain access to the burning home to rescue the boys.

(credit: Fortson family/Facebook)

(credit: Fortson family/Facebook)

“It was hot,” said neighbor Ronny Bell, “And I was calling for the kids. ‘Is anybody in there, is anybody in there.”

An aunt told Lopez the family just had some electrical work done on the home.  Because of that work, she said, smoke detectors were unhooked.



Comments (2)
  1. As a career firefighter with 38 years of service, most of which was spent as Fire Marshal and Fire Chief, I found your 12:00 report of this fire a little bit misleading. Near the end of the report, Jasmine Viel stated that neither the smoke alarms or sprinklers appeared to work.

    The majority of single family homes built in California before 2012 did NOT have fire sprinklers installed and thus in this case, it would be impossible for the fire sprinklers to not work since they were not even present.