CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A boy and his aunt have died following an apartment fire in west Charlotte early Sunday morning, a family member told NBC Charlotte.

Charlotte Fire responded to a fire at an apartment complex located in the 4400 block of Rose Thorn Place around 1 a.m.

Officials say over 36 firefighters worked to control the 2-alarm fire within 20 minutes. Two boys, later identified as Michael Johnson and Tremayne Smith, and a woman, later identified as Mechelle Morrison, were transported to CMC main with serious injuries, according to the victims' family member.

Michael Johnson, submitted photo.
Michael Johnson, submitted photo.

Michael Johnson and his aunt Mechelle Morrison have died at the hospital, according to a family member. Tremayne Smith is currently in the burn unit as of Monday evening, a family member said.

Michelle Fields, who lives across the hall from where the apartment where the fire started, said the smoke and flames started in an instant.

"I heard a bang on my door so I jumped up and came in here,” Fields said. "I didn't get to make it to the door because I saw all the smoke in my kitchen."

Fields said she and others worked to try to get everyone out safely, but they couldn’t get her neighbors across the hall to answer the door.

"Woke my sister up,” she said. “Came out here started banging on her door and everything. The guys downstairs they came started knocking on the walls, started banging. Couldn't get nobody up."

After a preliminary investigation, officials determined the fire was accidental and caused by unattended cooking.

"They [firefighters] did an awesome job,” Fields said. “I mean they really did."

A GoFundMe account has been set up to help the family with funeral expenses.

NBC Charlotte's Kendall Morris and Savannah Levins contributed to this report.