"They were screaming, that's what he said. They were screaming, trying to get out of the tub," the babysitter's father Charles Collins said.
The 21-year-old sitter was watching a 3-year-old and 2-year-old. He left the apartment while the two children were in the bathtub, and returned to find them with second degree burns.
"He said, 'I came over to our apartment to use the bathroom,'" Collins said.
He went on to say that he asked his son why he didn't take the children out of the tub before leaving, but said his son didn't think about that.
Officials identified the victims as brothers, Landon, 2, and Leland, 3. Landon had second-degree burns on over 50 percent of his back and Leland sustained second-degree burns over 80 percent of his upper torso and groin. One had to be put in a medically induced coma to undergo skin grafts. Both children are at Shriners Hospital.
State law says water heaters may not be set any higher than 130 degrees, but Lynn police said they believe the water was even hotter than that, and it's something they're looking into.
"So the oldest one turned the hot water on, right? And the hot water's too hot. It's like 130 degrees. It's too hot for the building, period. Cause I have a bad knee. And I got up in the shower and you know how when it's too hot you flinch? And I almost fell," Collins said.
The children's father is the primary caregiver and was on his way to work when the incident happened, neighbors said. He was living in Section 8 housing with his family after being displaced by a fire a month ago.