updated 10/27/2006 10:37:14 AM ET 2006-10-27T14:37:14

Fire swept through a two-story frame house early Friday, killing a woman and her three young children, but six other people managed to escape, a fire official said.

Two firefighters were treated for burns. The identities of the 18-year-old mother and her children were not immediately released.

The youngest child was 2 weeks old and the others were 1 and 2 years old, said Doug Smith, a battalion chief for the Columbus fire department.

“They were all in one room upstairs on the second floor,” Smith said. “This is one of our nightmares here is to come on the scene and have this many people trapped.”

Authorities believe the fire was accidental, and possibly caused by a space heater or electrical malfunction, Smith said.

Ten people were inside when the fire started around 5:30 a.m. and six escaped on their own, Smith said. They tried to rush back inside to try to save the others, but firefighters stopped them, he said.

“We sent firefighters in to do the best they could,” Smith said.

Two firefighters were injured and taken to Ohio State University Medical Center, Smith said. One, burned on the face, was treated and released, and the other, with burns on the back, was being evaluated, a hospital spokesman said.

The exterior of the century-old, two-story home was still standing, but everything visible through a broken window was charred, and the home’s white siding was blackened where flames came through the windows.

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