Five Erie children died in a massive house fire at 1248 West 11th Street around 1:15 a.m. Sunday. A woman is also hospitalized from injuries suffered in that fire and is hospitalized at UPMC Pittsburgh.
There were a total of 8 people in the single family house when the fire broke out, according to fire officials. Five of the victims were rushed to UPMC Hamot, some reported to be in cardiac arrest, where they later died.
The victims were all said to be between the ages of 8 months and 7 years old. Fire officials say two teenage boys jumped off the roof of the house and managed to escape the fire.
Investigators say it appears the cause of the fire may have been electrical in nature. Fire Chief Guy Santone says no foul play is suspected. He said there was heavy fire coming out all the windows on the first floor when firefighters arrived. There were reports of children trapped on the second floor.
The victims have not yet been identified. A 9th person, a neighbor, reportedly ran into the burning house to help rescue people, and was injured in the process.
The fire chief told JET 24 Action News there was only one smoke detector found in the house, and it was discovered in the attic.
Neighbors tells us the house ravaged by fire was sometimes used as a daycare, and there were often many children in and around the house playing basketball.