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GRASS VALLEY, Calif. (KTXL) — A huge fire in Grass Valley gutted a three-bedroom home, killing a 3-year-old girl and injuring a 5-year-old boy. 

Neighbor Janice Mason says she sadly witnessed the tragedy unfold. 

“Took the little in the ambulance,” Mason said. “I could hear him crying for mama. It was very sad, very disturbing.” 

Fire Marshal Terry McMahan says all fires are devastating, but this one involving children affected everyone, including first responders. 

“They’re dealing with the tragedy that happened here,” McMahan said. “It makes you go home after your shift and want to hug your kids and spend time with your family. It really does affect us.” 

Flames also damaged the next door apartment. 

The fire marshal says they haven’t determined the cause of the fire but don’t believe foul play was involved. They’ll continue to piece together clues as the family picks up the pieces of their lives. 

“Takes a whole community to pull things together. Being a smaller community, we’re very close knit,” McMahan said.