PITTSFIELD — Two children are being charged with arson after a house at 462 Higgins Road was destroyed by a fire, according to authorities.

Sgt. Joel Davis, from the Office of State Fire Marshal, said investigators charged two 12-year-olds who were alone in the home with arson, a class A felony. They have since been released to their parents, he said.

Davis wouldn’t say how they allegedly started the fire, but he said the investigators determined there was an “intentional human element” to the fire and that it was not accidental.

One of the children lived at the residence, Davis said, and he thinks the other lives in Pittsfield. They both will be tried through the juvenile justice system.

The fire was reported at 10:26 a.m., Pittsfield fire Capt. Michael Havey said, and heavy fire and smoke were coming from the one-story home when the first firefighting crews arrived.

The two children inside the home got out safely, he said. The fire appears to have started in the kitchen.

About 50 firefighters from four departments worked at the scene and got the fire under control in about 20 minutes. The house is a total loss, Havey said.

Homeowners Tyler Bishop and his wife, Erin, went to the scene when they heard about the fire. Havey said they have insurance.

In a news release, the American Red Cross said its Disaster Action Team will ensure the family of four has food, shelter and other essentials, and it will continue to work with them to provide financial assistance and referrals to community services.

The Pittsfield, Newport, Canaan and Hartland fire departments all responded to the call, and the Detroit Fire Department staffed the Pittsfield station during the day.

Madeline St. Amour — 861-9239

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Twitter: @madelinestamour