Three children and seven adults were killed in a house fire in the US state of Pennsylvania, and a firefighter called to the scene was terrified to find the victims of his family.
Pennsylvania State Police have confirmed the names of six of the victims, but have not yet identified the youngest of the children, aged five, six and seven.
A criminal investigation has been opened to determine the cause of the fire.
The fire is believed to have started on the balcony early Friday morning.
Harold Becker, a firefighter with the Nescopeck Volunteer Fire Company, told the Associated Press news agency that the dead included his son, daughter, father, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, three grandchildren and two other relatives.
He said the three children who died – two boys and a girl – did not live at home, and were visiting the country for summer activities.
State police have so far identified the victims as Dale Baker, 19, Star Baker, 22, David Dubert Sr., 79, Shannon Dubert, 42, Laura Dubert, 47, and Marianne Sluser, 54.
Harold Baker said his son, Dale, followed in his footsteps by joining the fire service.
Police say the bodies were recovered from the destroyed building with the help of sniffer dogs. Three adults managed to escape to safety, according to a police report.
The fire broke out in rural Neskopik, 95 miles (150 kilometers) northwest of Philadelphia, at about 02:30 local time (06:30 GMT).
“The firefighters made a valiant effort to get into the house at the rear but were turned away by the intense flames and heat,” Pennsylvania State Police Lt. Derek Felsman told reporters Friday.
“When we turned the corner here in Dewey,” Mr. Baker told Citizens’ Voice in Wilkes-Barre. [Street] I immediately knew what a house was just looking down the street.
“I was in first mover, and when we stopped, the whole place was fully involved. We tried to get to them.”
Speaking to WNEP-TV, he said, “The kids who were there and my son were visiting their aunt and uncle.
These are the people who own the house. They were there visiting and going to the pool and all that.”
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolfe wrote on Twitter that he was “sad” about this tragedy.
The American Red Cross told CNN they are responding and helping the displaced.
An American firefighter has found 10 dead in a house fire as his family first appeared on Citinewsroom – Compilation News in Ghana.
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