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Update: Two Children Left Home Alone Awake To House Fire

By Kelli Saam
Published On: Mar 22 2013 09:20:10 PM CDT

BUTTE COUNTY

Two little girls, just 8 & 9 years old awoke early Friday morning to find their Chico home on fire.

CHICO, Calif. -

Two little girls, just 8 & 9 years old awoke early Friday morning to find their Chico home on fire.  Firefighters said the girls' mother, Rebecca Moralez, was nowhere to be found.    

The fire broke out around 2:30 a.m. at 121 York Drive, off West 8th Avenue on Chico's west side.

Firefighters said one sister awoke to the smell of smoke.   The kitchen and front room were on fire.  She woke up her sister who was asleep in a car in the driveway.

Still convinced their mother was inside, one of the girls tried to go back into the burning building , but the smoke was too bad.  The pair ran down the street to ask a neighbor for help.  The neighbor called 911.

Firefighters rushed to see if the mother was inside, and to evacuate the neighbors in case the flames spread to the home next door.

The girls' mother was not inside the home.  The girls were taken to the hospital as a precaution.  They were later placed in the custody of Child Protective Services.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Police said they made contact with the mother around 9 a.m.  They plan to interview her Friday afternoon.