Police: 2 children believed to have died in North Hero fire

Published: Oct. 19, 2019 at 4:54 PM EDT
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Police say the remains of two young children were recovered from a North Hero home that caught fire early Saturday morning.

The call came just after 1 a.m. Emergency crews arrived on the scene and found the home on Bridge Road fully engulfed.

The investigation into the cause of the fire is ongoing, but it is not believed to be suspicious. Police say the parents were able to escape the blaze but were unable to reach their two young sons, who are believed to have perished in the fire. The names of the children will be released upon confirmation of their identities following autopsies.

The homeowners are identified as Desiree and Mason Maltais, both 30, of North Hero. The Maltais' are both first responders in the community.

"This is extremely tough for all the first responders," Vermont State Police Capt. Jeremy Hill said.

Multiple emergency agencies responded to the fire and its aftermath, including fire departments from Alburgh, Grand Isle, Isle La Motte, North Hero, South Hero and Swanton in Vermont, and Rouses Point in New York; Grand Isle Rescue; the Grand Isle County Sheriff's Department; the American Red Cross; the Vermont Urban Search and Rescue Team; the Department of Public Safety Fire & Explosion Investigation Unit; and the Vermont State Police, including the Bureau of Criminal Investigations, Crime Scene Search Team and Field Force Division.

Grief counselors will be available at 1 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 20, at the North Hero Elementary School to help parents inform their children about what happened.