All six bodies have been recovered from the home and everyone has been accounted for, said fire department spokesman Chief Roman Clark. Earlier Thursday, Clark said the presumed dead were two boys, ages 9 months and 2 years; 3-year-old twin girls; and two girls, ages 10 and 11.
Firefighters encountered heavy flames coming from all three floors of the home when they answered the call about 12:30 a.m. Thursday, and they attacked the blaze from outside, Clark said. The third floor collapsed and the second floor partially collapsed.
William Malone said all nine are his children with Katie Malone, who's a staff member for Rep. Elijah Cummings' district office.
"I'm still in shock to be honest," said Malone, who was reached by phone at a relative's home. He said he doesn't know what may have caused the fire.
"My staff is a family and this unimaginable tragedy is shocking and heartbreaking to us all. I again ask for your prayers," Cummings said in a statement.
"The flames was coming out on every side, and that's when the mother was coming around the side of the house," Spencer said.
Michael Johnson, 55, who lives a block away and can see the house from his home, described it as a complete inferno.
Johnson, who didn't know the family, added that he was praying for the people inside.
WJZ-TV showed two small children sitting up as they were wheeled away on a stretcher and a woman on a stretcher with an oxygen mask over her face. Images from the scene show firefighters dousing the charred shell of the first two stories of the home between two other large three story single-family homes.
Associated Press reporters Sarah Brumfield in Washington and Alanna Durkin Richer contributed to this report from Richmond. Associated Press researcher Rhonda Shafner contributed from New York.