GASTON, N.C. — A man and two children are being treated for smoke inhalation and burns after a fire gutted a North Carolina home.

Gaston Volunteer Fire Department issued a news release saying the fire Friday caused heavy damage.

A 21-year-old man and two girls, ages 3 and 2, were rushed to the hospital in critical condition. The fire department said Saturday they had been transferred to a burn center. Fire officials didn’t immediately respond to a message asking about their conditions Sunday.

Fire Capt. Eddie Porter III tells The Daily Herald of Roanoke Rapids that investigators believe that the fire started when the man, who appears to be the children’s father, fell asleep while cooking on the stove. He said all three made it out of the house before firefighters arrived.

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