Two-year-old twins, their older brother and their mother died in a large house fire overnight on Long Island after she was overcome by smoke as she scrambled to get them out of the house, authorities said Saturday.
Police said the mother, Jennifer McCusker, 41, passed out from smoke inhalation after trying to get one of the children out of a crib.
Authorities said she and the children, 2-year-old twins Brendan and Ava Mistretta, and 7-year-old Aidan Tarbell, died after the fire in the Shirley home spread from the living room.
A neighbor said McCusker was well-liked and that Aidan often came over to her house.
"She was a very sweet lady," said Shoshanna Alexander.
Alexander said the fire "was bursting out of the windows."
Police are investigating what caused the blaze.