Five children killed in fire at U.S. daycare centre

Cheryl Sanders
August 12, 2019

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 around 1:15 a.m. remained under investigation by police and fire officials, Lieutenant Szocki of the City of Erie Police Department told Reuters.

Five children died in a fire at a Pennsylvania 24-hour daycare center early Sunday morning.

The homeowner and daycare operator, Elaine Harris, was hospitalized for injuries she sustained during the fire and was in stable condition.

"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", he said.

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.

Investigators said that they found one smoke detector inside the attic of the three-story home.

Four of the five children killed were siblings: two boys and two girls ages 8, 6, 4 and 10 months old, their grandmother Valerie Lockett-Slupski told the Erie Times-News.

'So we are all at a loss, trying to figure out how this happened, ' Lockett-Slupski was quoted as saying as she stood across from the remains of the daycare center.

The circumstances surrounding the fifth child who died were unclear.

The address of the fire comes back to Harris Family Daycare, according to the local chamber of commerce. It was last inspected in December 2018.

Fire officials have not determined the cause of the blaze.

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