Two boys — ages 1 and 4 — who were left alone died after firefighters braved flames and pulled them from their burning home on Detroit's northwest side.
The boys, whose names were not immediately released, were found in an upstairs bedroom Friday afternoon, said Officer Adam Madera of the Detroit Police Public Information office.
Arson investigators were called to the scene because the blaze "may be suspicious," Madera said.
Police Chief James Craig said the boys' father was not at home when the fire started.
The fire was reported at 12:58 p.m. Friday and firefighters were told children were inside when they arrived, said Fire Lt. Gerod Funderburg.
Neighbor Clark Washington Jr. told WDIV-TV it didn't take firefighters long to bring the children out.
"Before the water was even turned on they were busting through that door trying to get in," Washington said. "Maybe a minute or two later they brought one child out, and then another minute after that the second child came out."
The boys were taken to two different hospitals and later died. At least one suffered severe burns.
"My daughter used to play with the kids. They were good kids. Respectable," neighbor Delitta Byrd told The Detroit News. "I am sad that this happened. I pray for the family. I feel sorry for the family."