RUTHERFORD COUNTY, N.C. (WSPA) – Two people have been indicted following a deadly house fire that killed two toddlers in Rutherford County.

We previously reported that the fire broke out shortly before 10 a.m. on January 13 at a home on Bostic Sunshine Highway.

“This was really just a horrible tragedy that could have completely been avoided. These two small children left alone,” said Detective Julie Greene.

While firefighters were battling the fire, a man arrived at the scene and told them there were children in the house.

“That’s when John Littlejohn, who was the grandfather of the two children, came up the driveway and was screaming that the babies are in the residence,” said the Detective.

The firefighters entered the house and found the two children in the back bedroom.

“Grandpa would, on a daily basis, take the mother to work and leave the two children at home. That was just their normal routine schedule,” said Detective Greene.

The children were taken to the hospital where they later died. They were 3-year-old Niya Littlejohn and 2-year-old Nasir Littlejohn.

“They can’t fend for themselves, they can’t take care of themselves and obviously, couldn’t get out of the house during the fire,” said Detective Greene.

During the investigation, the fire marshal’s office learned the fire originated in the living room, in the area of the couch. The cause of the fire is undetermined but is still under investigation.

The sheriff’s office said Niya and Nasir were living at the house with their mother, Jontae Nichelle Littlejohn, and grandfather, John Randolph Littlejohn.

On Monday, the case was presented to the grand jury, which came back with an indictment on Jontae Littlejohn, and John Littlejohn for involuntary manslaughter and felony child abuse.

Investigators said they are still figuring out the cause of the fire. They will also know more about the children’s deaths after the autopsy results.

While the two have been indicted, the sheriff’s office is working to locate them to make the arrests.