Two sisters have died after a fire engulfed the $2.5 million Hamptons holiday home their family was renting, trapping them in their second-floor bedroom.
Jillian Wiener, 21, and Lindsay Wiener, 19, were sleeping upstairs in the home located on Long Island’s South Fork when the raging blaze broke out around 3.30am on Wednesday, local police said.
Their dad, Lewis Wiener, 60, was the first to notice the fire and tried desperately to get his family out of the home.
"The father awakened to the sound of glass breaking and alerted the family to get out. The father and wife escaped the home," Lieutenant Susan Ralph with the Southhampton Town police said, the East Hampton Star reports.
"When they realised the children hadn't exited the home, the father attempted to gain entry back in; however, the flames prevented him from gaining access."
Mr Wiener and his wife Alisa Wiener, 52, had been sleeping in a bedroom on the first floor when the blaze started. All three kids were upstairs.
The couple’s son, Zachary, 23, was able to escape the fire by leaping from a second-floor window, police said.
Sadly, firefighters discovered his two sisters inside the home after extinguishing the flames. Jillian and Lindsay were rushed to hospital as medics performed CPR, but they died from their injuries, News4 reports.
Mr and Mrs Wiener and their son were treated for smoke inhalation.
Photos show significant damage to the home, with the front heavily charred. The cause of the fire in under investigation.
Following the incident, the Southampton Fire Marshal issued a statement urging others to make sure they have working smoke detectors and a residential fire sprinkler system in place.
"Not looking to cast blame or point fingers, just simply putting it out there," their post on Facebook reads.
"It’s a relatively cheap investment to ensure the safety of the occupants. Life is too precious."
Family mourns sisters killed in fire
The sisters, who were both college students, have been remembered by their community as warm and caring women who were active at their schools.
Jillian was about to enter her senior year at the University of Michigan, while Lindsay was starting her second year at Tulane.
Neighbours told local publications the family rented the Hamptoms home — which has an estimated value of A$2.5 million according to Zillow — for a short summer holiday before they went back to school.
"My heart is just full of sadness hearing this news," Goli Azhdam, a family friend and neighbour, told News4.
"I knew them since they were born and it's truly shocking. Truly, extremely sad news."
The funeral service for the sisters will be held on Monday.
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