Wednesday 18 September 2019

Five children killed in fire at Pennsylvania day care centre

Erie Bureau of Fire Inspector Mark Polanski helps investigate a fatal fire at 1248 West 11th St. in Erie, Pa, on Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019. (Greg Wohlford/Erie Times-News via AP)
Erie Bureau of Fire Inspector Mark Polanski helps investigate a fatal fire at 1248 West 11th St. in Erie, Pa, on Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019. (Greg Wohlford/Erie Times-News via AP)
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

An early morning fire in Pennsylvania at a residential building housing a day care centre killed five children and sent the owner to the hospital, authorities said.

The fire was reported in Erie, a north-west lake town, at about 1.15am on Sunday, Guy Santone of the Erie Fire Department said.

The victims ranged in ages from 8 months to 7 years, he added.

Valerie Lockett-Slupski, standing across the street from the fire-damaged house, said she was the grandmother of four of the children, and that they were staying at the day care because their parents were working overnight, the Erie Times-News reported.

She said the family had two boys and two girls and had used the day care for almost a year.

"So we are all at a loss, trying to figure out how this happened," Ms Lockett-Slupski told the newspaper.

In thIs photo released by the Erie Fire department, firefighters work to put out a house fire in Erie, Pennsylvania early in the morning on August 11, 2019. Photo by Scooter Blakely / AFP
In thIs photo released by the Erie Fire department, firefighters work to put out a house fire in Erie, Pennsylvania early in the morning on August 11, 2019. Photo by Scooter Blakely / AFP

The owner of the day care was flown to the the University of Pittsburgh Medical Centre for treatment, Mr Santone said.

He said a neighbour was also injured.

Chief fire inspector John Widomski told the newspaper that the fire appeared to have started in the living room area on the first floor.

The department's two fire inspectors and three Erie police detectives trained in fire investigations are working to determine the cause of the blaze. 

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