5 children killed after fire engulfs Florida home

CITRA — Cries of “My babies! My babies!” jolted Angela and R.J. Stroud awake as a huge fire engulfed their neighbor’s woodframe house, killing five children trapped inside.

Flames shot 20 feet above the roof as the children’s mother, 31-year-old Krista Jordan, frantically cried for help from the front yard. The children were still inside their home in this semirural community of central Florida.

Despite all attempts, the Strouds and other neighbors were unable to find the three boys and two girls as flames devoured the home Monday night. By the time firefighters arrived, minutes after a 911 call shortly after 10:30 p.m., they reported flames were already beyond control.

The children’s mother and grandmother, 54-year-old Linda Cole, were taken to the hospital with non life-threatening injuries, authorities said.