A fire in a parking lot outside Walmart in Fridley early Tuesday morning quickly spread to nearby vehicles, including a van that had two children inside.
According to Fridley Police Lt. Jim Mork, a van caught fire just before 7:15 a.m. and then spread to another van parked next to it.
Inside of the second van were two girls, aged 6 and 9.
Both children were burned, with the younger girl suffering "significant, possibly life-threatening" injuries," Lt. Mork said. The older child has less significant burns. Both were transported to an area hospital.
The first van that caught fire was "engulfed with flames" upon arrival of the responders, who quickly learned that the girls were in the second van and started rescue efforts.
Mork says the mother of the children was shopping inside Walmart for 45 minutes to an hour when the fire broke out. She has not been arrested.
The State Fire Marshal is assisting in the investigation to determine what caused the fire.
Two other vehicles suffered heat damage.