INDIANAPOLIS (AP) _ Four little boys died in their beds today as a fire roared through their house while their father was taking their mother to work.

The fire appeared to have started in the living room with an electrical short or an overloaded socket, said Lt. John Gammon of the Indianapolis Fire Department, and ``shot right up the stairway.''

That's where an 8-year-old slept in one room and his three half brothers, ages 6, 5 and 3, in the adjoining room. A smoke detector was working, Gammon said.

The father, James Craig, was running the mother, Janie Craig, to her job at a nursing home at the time the fire broke out, said the boys' aunt, Angelita Beverley.

By the time Craig got home, shortly after 7 a.m., the home already was an inferno, Gammon said.

The family rented one side of a one-year-old duplex in a revitalized neighborhood formerly known as Dodge City because of the violence that occurred there.

Police did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment on whether the parents could face charges for leaving the children alone.