5 children killed in fire at Pennsylvania day care centre

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A fire at a day-care centre in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania has killed at least five children, including four siblings, officials said.

Santone said the victims were aged from eight months to seven years old, adding that the homeowner was injured, along with a neighbour who tried to enter the burning home to rescue victims.

The fifth victim was the child of the owner of the house. The fire was reported in the wee hours of Sunday morning, already blazing out of every first floor window. A ninth person - a neighbor who ran into the blaze to help others escape - was also injured.

Fire fighters managed to reach the house four minutes after they were dispatched by 911 emergency services, according to local media.

There was only one smoke detector in the house and that was in the attic of the three-story structure, Erie Chief Fire Inspector John Widomski told the news media.

Valerie Lockett-Slupski said that four of her grandchildren died in the fire. The department's two fire inspectors and three Erie police detectives trained in fire investigations are working to determine the cause of the blaze.

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


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

Flames were said to have been see coming out of the windows of the home and that the fire was so hot that it melted off the front of the home's vinyl siding, as well as portions of the vinyl siding on neighboring homes.

The owner of the center was flown to UPMC Mercy for treatment, 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.

Both issues were listed as "corrected", with the childcare provider's promise to "make sure [the cigarettes and ashes] will be cleaned up and remain that way" and that electrical outlets would be "turned closed when not in use".

Both issues were said to have been marked as being corrected after the inspection.

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