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Kid Sisters Left Unattended Die in Fire Sparked by Incense, Officials Say

By  Valeria Ricciulli and Aidan Gardiner | April 14, 2016 7:46am | Updated on April 14, 2016 11:48am

 Amanda and Jannubi Jabie, 18 months old and 2, died in a Butler Houses blaze, officials said.
Amanda and Jannubi Jabie, 18 months old and 2, died in a Butler Houses blaze, officials said.
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DNAinfo/Valeria Ricciulli

CLAREMONT — Two young sisters left alone by their parents died Wednesday night when burning incense sparked a fire that tore through their third-floor apartment in the Butler Houses, officials said.

Eleven other people were injured in the blaze, according to the FDNY.

Amanda and Jannubi Jabie, 18 months old and 2, were alone in their home at 1368 Webster Ave., near East 170th Street, as their 26-year-old mother stepped out to go to a laundromat across the street, neighbors and officials said.

Some incense then sparked a flame about 6:33 p.m. that quickly tore through the apartment, which doesn't have any smoke alarms, NYPD and FDNY officials said.

"I heard them crying for about 30 minutes and then I didn't hear them anymore," said next-door neighbor, Gladys Dozier, 71.

"I heard the kids crying. I thought maybe somebody was in there with them and then I heard something drop and I heard the kids stop crying," Dozier said.

Their mother came out of the laundromat and watched in horror from across the street as flames engulfed her home, neighbors said.

"I saw her screaming and saying something in her language," said Chantay Foi, 31, who lives upstairs.

"It was torture. They were burned to death," Foi added.

The toddlers were brought to Bronx-Lebanon Hospital, where they were pronounced dead, police said. The Medical Examiner will determine their causes of death, police said.

Police questioned the mother, but released her, an NYPD spokeswoman said.

The Administration for Children's Services is investigating the circumstances that led to the children's deaths, a spokeswoman said.

Six civilians and five firefighters were treated for minor injuries at St. Barnabas Hospital, an FDNY spokesman said.

About 60 firefighters brought the blaze under control by 8:44 p.m., FDNY officials said.

Officials said the fire was sparked by incense that had been left unattended, officials said.

After the fire, mourners placed teddy bears next to candles in a memorial outside the scorched apartment building.

Butler Houses Memorial (DNAinfo/Valeria Ricciuli)