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SAN DIEGO – Two children who were pulled from a fire in a second-floor apartment in the Rancho Bernardo community have died, police said Saturday.

San Diego Police Lt. Mike Holden confirmed the two children, ages 7 and 10, died after the fire early Saturday, which began about 3 a.m. near Bernardo Center Drive and Regalo Lane, according to the San Diego Fire and Rescue Department.

It took about 20 minutes for firefighters to knock down the blaze.

The father of the two children was rescued from the apartment, Holden reported. The man remained at UC San Diego Medical Center in critical condition Saturday morning.

The fire was being investigated by homicide detectives.