County fire investigators were searching last night for the cause ofa two-alarm fire that left a 5-year-old girl dead and her younger brother and a woman seriously injured.

The fire in the 1100 block Wynbrook Road began around 10:30 a.m. Erica Regan was taken to North Arundel Hospital, where she was pronounced dead. Her brother, 3-year-old John Regan IV, and a woman living in the house, Kathy Jillespie, 25, were taken by helicopter to the University of Maryland Shock TraumaCenter.

Both were listed in critical condition last night, fire department spokesman Lt. Gary Sheckells said. John Regan IV suffered severe burns to his upper body; Jillespie suffered second degree burns to her face, neck, arms, chest and the inside of her mouth.

The children's father, John Regan III, was not home at the time of the fire, Sheckells said.

Vicki Nelson-Flores was asleep next door when she hearda commotion. Neighbors, alerted by smoke billowing out from the eves of the single-family home, were throwing rocks through the living room windows and calling to the family inside, said Nelson-Flores, who joined other neighbors in Regan's front yard.

"I saw smoke coming out, so I called 911," said Vanessa Fahie, who also lives next door, on the opposite side from Flores. "We rushed outside and we saw the car, so we figured someone was home. The smoke was coming from all over -- the sides, the back, the chimney."

The fire department arrived quickly and promptly extinguished the flames, Flores said, but sometime passed before firefighters brought out the three victims.

Sheckells said the blaze started near the sofa in the living room, thenspread throughout the one-story ranch home.

Firefighters found Erica still in her bed, down the hall and across from the living room, Sheckells said. He said her brother and Jillespie were found in the family room, behind the living room.

Neighbors said John Regan III worked at his family's stand in Baltimore's Lexington Market, and that he had lived in Point Pleasant about six years.

Paramedics on the scene tried unsuccessfully to revive Erica, whose heart had stopped, Sheckells said.

John Regan told firefighters his son was awake when he left for work at about 8:30 a.m., Sheckells said.

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