DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - A mother of three was stabbed to death amid an apartment fire that broke out overnight, which also left her baby dead and two other children injured, according to police.
Daytona Beach Police Chief Jakari Young shared an update on Tuesday morning about the incident that unfolded at 1200 Beville Road around midnight.
The baby was in cardiac arrest and the mother was found dead inside the apartment, police said. It remains unclear if the baby suffered any physical injuries. The other two young children are in critical condition and are receiving treatment at a local hospital.
"This is a horrific incident. We are literally two days out from a holiday that centers around family and this is what we are here dealing with," Young said.
Police initially ruled the incident as a homicide because the fire had two points of origin inside the apartment when it started, which is not typical of these kinds of fires, according to Daytona Beach Fire Department Lt. Antwan Lewis.
The mother's next-of-kin has not yet been notified, Young said.
"I am very proud of all the officers that initially responded to the scene, as well as all fire and medical personnel," Young said. "Their bravery to be able to go in and do their best to save lives, because if it were not for their actions there probably would have been more lives lost."
Officials said they don't know if any other apartments were affected, but the whole unit has been evacuated at this time.
"When I first heard the sirens around midnight, I panicked … I freaked out," said neighbor Rachel Levine, who has lived in the apartment complex for eight years. "I saw the smoke, and I saw the firefighters doing their job and they were bringing out stretchers, and bringing people out on stretchers, they were giving CPR to people. It was a chaotic scene that I didn't know what I was walking into or out to, so my first initial thing was panic. And now I'm just sitting there, shocked."
This is a developing story.