Published: Tue, August 13, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Five children killed in a frightful fire at United States day care

Five children killed in a frightful fire at United States day care

Three of the five children who died in Sunday's fire at an Erie day care were the kids of a local volunteer firefighter.

Erie Bureau of Fire Inspector Mark Polanski helps investigate a fatal fire at 1248 West 11th St.in Erie, Pennsylvania, on Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019.

The Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership, a non-profit, lists the address of the home as the Harris Family Daycare.

Santone told the newspaper that a neighbor was also injured. A woman, Elaine Harris, is reported to have also been taken out of the fire and sent to hospital.

Five children, ranging in age from 8 months to 7 years old, were killed in the blaze.

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.

Four people were injured, including two teenagers who jumped from a second-floor window onto a porch of the home in Erie to escape the flames, Erie Fire Chief Guy Santone told CNN in an interview.

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Luther Jones' two daughters and a son were trapped in a blaze in the lakeside city of Erie while he was responding to another call for what turned out to be a malfunctioning alarm, said Lawrence Park Township Volunteer Fire Chief Joe Crotty.

"If there were the proper amount of smoke detectors in this structure, then most, if not all, would have survived", Santone said.

The state Department of Human Services Office of Child Development and Early Learning listed the day care as in compliance with requirements following a December 28, 2018, inspection.

A January 3 inspection was said to have revealed the presence of "ashes and cigarette or cigar butts" which are banned in childcare and play spaces, as well as food preparation areas, according to CBS News. "I will make sure that they are turned closed when not in use".

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

Anyone with information about the fire is asked to call Erie police Detective Sgt. Michael Hertel at 814-870-1260 or Detective David Walker at 814-870-1122.

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