DIGITAL EXCLUSIVE: Five children dead after Erie fire

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A massive house fire in Erie left five children dead, and one woman in the hospital.

The fire happened in a home on West 11 Street around 1:15 Sunday morning. Five young children between the ages of 8 months to 7 years were confirmed dead after being rushed to UPMC Hamot. A total of eight people were reportedly inside at the time.

Fire officials said two teenage boys escaped the fire by jumping off the roof of the house. One woman was also hospitalized at UPMC Pittsburgh for injuries resulting from the fire.

Investigators said 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, and there were reports of children trapped on the second floor.

The victims have not yet been identified. A ninth 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.

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