A 12-year-old girl and her 8-year-old brother died after a fire destroyed the inside of their home in Inami, Hyogo Prefecture, on Monday morning.
According to police, flames were seen coming from the two-story wooden building at around 12:30 a.m. Fuji TV reported that the owner, Ryuichi Fujimoto, called 119 to report that flames were rising from the first floor which had a storeroom, to the residence above.
Fifteen fire trucks were mobilized to fight the blaze which took about 3 1/2 hours to extinguish.
The two children were taken to hospital where they were pronounced dead. They were identified as Iroha and her brother Soichiro. Their parents sustained minor burns. The father, who had been sleeping on the first floor, said the flames were so intense that he could not get upstairs to rescue his children. His wife was also unable to get into the children's room.
A neighbor said that the family had held a barbecue earlier Sunday night in the garden. Firefighters believe the fire may have been caused by the grill which was left in the storeroom.© Japan Today