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19, 21-year-old Maryland sisters killed in New York vacation home fire

When the father noticed his children had not escaped, he attempted to run back inside, but the flames were too strong for him to get through.

SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. — Two Maryland women were killed when the house their family was sleeping in caught fire in Southampton, New York early Wednesday morning. 

According to the Southampton Town Police Department, the Wiener family was visiting the area from Potomac, Maryland.

Neighbors tell WUSA9 the family was in the Hamptons for a quick summer trip before the kids went back to college.

On Wednesday night, Lewis Weiner, 60, and his wife Alisa Wiener, 52, were sleeping on the first floor when Lewis awoke to the sound of glass breaking. Officers say Lewis warned his family to get out of the house while he and his wife escaped. Their children -- Zachary, 23, Jillian, 21, and Lindsay, 19 -- were sleeping on the second floor when the fire sparked. 

When Lewis noticed his children hadn't made it out of the house, he tried to go back inside to save them but the flames were too strong for him to pass through. 

Zachary was able to escape the fire by jumping from a second-story window. Jillian and Lindsay remained trapped inside the burning home. 

Help was called to the home just after 3:30 a.m. When first responders arrived they found the home "fully engulfed" in flames. 

Credit: Southampton Town Fire Marshal

Firefighters found Jillian and Lindsay inside the home and took them to SUNY Southampton Hospital where both sisters died from their injuries. 

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

"Our sons grew up together, our daughters grew up together. They are the salt of the earth," said neighbor and friend of the family Mark Kilner. "They are the most generous, thoughtful, loving and helpful."

Jillian and Lindsay had previously graduated from the Holton-Arms School in Bethesda. The school head Susanna A. Jones shared the news of the young women's deaths in a letter to the community Wednesday. 

"As much of the Holton community can attest, the sisters were warm, engaged members of the Holton community who positively impacted both their classes and the larger school community," said Jones. 

Jillian was described as an artist who also played soccer and ice hockey and had a passion for yoga and community service. She was a certified yoga instructor who would teach yoga to younger students as part of her senior project. 

Jones described Lindsay as a bright spirit and leader who was the President of the Community Service Club and President of the Jewish Culture Club.

Both women were supposed to return to school later this year, Jillian for her senior year at the University of Michigan and Lindsay for her sophomore year at Tulane.

"Jillian and Lindsay’s passing is a great loss to the Holton-Arms community and both will be deeply missed by their family, friends, and the school community," Jones said. 

The community came together Wednesday evening to remember the sisters. 

"As word spread, the community had a cry-in and we decided to come together tonight and just support each other," said Kilner. "They are just so loved."

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No one else was injured but there is significant damage to the house. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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