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Twin 2-year-old boys, who died, and their father, who was badly injured trying to rescue them, all may have been asleep when fire broke out in their Olean home Monday afternoon, fire officials suggested today.

The father, Scott Maine, was listed in critical condition today in Erie County Medical Center after being burned while trying to save his three children.

The fire at 416 W. Henley St., a two-family residence, was reported at 2:27 p.m.

Maine was unable to rescue his twin sons. But an older child, believed to be 4 or 5, was taken to safety.

"I would suspect that he (Maine) either assisted the child or carried the child out," Olean Fire Capt. Paul Melfi said.

After bringing that child out, Maine was taken to Olean General Hospital, then airlifted to ECMC.

The blaze broke out in the rear first-floor bedroom, but investigators still hadn't pinpointed the cause today.

"The house was pretty much fully involved when we arrived," Melfi said. "Fire was lapping out the exterior of the structure."

Firefighters attempting to rescue the children were beaten back by the heat and fire, Melfi said.

The house was considered a total loss. Flames also spread to the neighboring homes at 414 and 418 W. Henley.

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