2 adults, 2 children dead in Akron house fire; 2 others hurt

AKRON, Ohio -- Four people, including two children, are dead, and two others are hospitalized, after a fire ripped through a house in Akron early Saturday morning.

It happened at 1:30 a.m. in the 200 block of East Tallmadge Avenue, where fire crews arrived to find the three-story home engulfed in flames.

According to the Akron Fire Department, two adults -- a 34-year-old woman and a 37-year-old man -- were killed.  Two girls, ages 8 and 9, also died.

Investigators say a 12-year-old girl and another adult survived the fire: one of them escaped out of a window, while the other was rescued by Akron firefighters.  Both are in area hospitals, where their conditions have not yet been released.

One firefighter sustained minor injuries - he was treated and released from the hospital.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but fire officials said in a release that it was noted that smoke detectors could not be located in the house.

Meanwhile, the Akron Public Schools community is mourning the loss of two of its students, and praying for the recovery of another.  

APS spokesperson Mark Williamson on Saturday said this of the tragedy:

"Akron Public Schools and its community of families are profoundly saddened by this loss of two precious children and other members of their family.  Three of our schools have felt this tragedy, deeply, and will be visited by our counselors this week to  help them.  We offer our heartfelt prayers."

LeBron James has been affected by the losses, as well. He took to twitter on Saturday to express his condolences after announcing that the girls who died had been a part of his foundation's program, Wheels for Education.

Akron Mayor Daniel Horrigan released the following statement Saturday morning:

"My family, the Akron Fire Department, and the entire Akron community, are profoundly saddened by this devastating incident.  Any time our community experiences a loss such as this, it reminds us how precious life is.  My deepest sympathies and prayers are with the family members of those who lost their lives, as we continue to pray for strength and healing for the survivors being treated.  We will see to it that the victims' families and the survivors are supported in this time of great sorrow and need.  There is no higher duty we have as city leaders than to protect the health and safety of our residents and I thank the Akron Fire Department for their bravery in responding to this fire and for their attempts to rescue those trapped inside.  I offer my full support and confidence as the professionals work to investigate the cause of this fire."

**Extended coverage on this story, here**