Police: Erie day care center fire kills 5 children – Tribune-Review

ERIE — A morning fire in Pennsylvania killed five children and sent another person to the hospital, authorities said.

The fire was reported at about 1:15 a.m. Sunday in Erie, Chief Guy Santone of the Erie Fire Department said.

The victims ranged in ages from 8 months to 7 years, Santone said.

The Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership lists a day care at the fire address.

Detectives are working to determine whether any of the victims were staying at the day care, Erie Police Chief Dan Spizarny told the Erie Times-News.

A woman who also lives at the residence was flown to UPMC Mercy for treatment, Chief Fire Inspector John Widomski told the newspaper, which reported that the injured woman is the owner of the day care.

Santone told the newspaper that a neighbor was also injured.

The fire bureau’s two fire inspectors and three Erie Bureau of Police detectives who are trained in fire investigators are working to determine the cause of Sunday morning’s fire, which caused heavy damage to the front of the three-story house. Police Chief Dan Spizarny said detectives are assisting the fire inspectors because the department investigates all death cases.

Santone said all of the fire bureau’s on-duty companies were sent to the fire and arrived to find flames coming out of every window on the front of the first floor.

“The deputy (fire chief on the scene) told me he hasn’t seen fire blow out of a building like that in a long time,” Widomski said.

Santone said the firefighters “did a hell of a job” knocking down the fire and rescuing the children who were still inside the house within minutes of arriving on the scene.

The fire appears to have started in the living room area on the first floor of the house, according to Widomski. Investigators remained at the scene Sunday afternoon, with the house blocked off with yellow caution tape and an Erie police officer stationed outside.

The next step in the investigation will involve bringing in additional resources to help in determining the fire’s cause, Widomski said.

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