Five children were killed and two adults injured in an apartment fire on Monday evening.
Firefighters responded to a 3:30 a.m. call in Genessee, Pennsylvania, but were unable to save the five children who were reportedly inside the home when the fire broke out.
The fire continued to break out Slingerland Roadand by the time state police and firefighters arrived at the scene, the home was already ablaze, reports said.
Corresponding Erie News NowPolice said first responders found “five teenage victims unable to leave the home.”
Two adults in the home, Charlie and Michele Erway, managed to escape, but both sustained injuries trying to rescue the children from the home.
Charlie reportedly suffered burns to his body, while Michele sustained injuries when he jumped out of a window and inhaled smoke.
Both people were flown to a hospital in Rochester, New York, but there was no information on their condition.
Charlie’s father, Wayne Erway, lives next door to his son and heard the fire start around 3 or 3:30 p.m.
“I was sitting in the chair downstairs in the living room and I thought I had a ‘Boom!’ heard,” said Wayne Erway Olean Times Herald.
“(Charlie) usually goes to work in the early morning and I thought at first he started his car.
“But looking out here, it wasn’t car lights that I was looking at. The house was quite convoluted.”
The fire brigade and police are still investigating the cause of the fire, which apparently broke out in the basement of the house.
The fire is currently not considered suspicious.
All five victims were teenagers and in high school.
Three of the victims were children of Charlie and Michele and the other two were friends who were staying at the house, according to local reports.
Cops were unable to verify the victims’ names when contacted by The Sun.
A friend of the Erways set it up GoFundMe pagewhich has already raised nearly $33,000.
“Thank you everyone for the words, hugs and prayers for our family. Deb and I both got a hug from (our daughter) on Sunday, not knowing it would be our last from our daughter,” said Brian and Debra Salmonson, parents of one of the teens who died, in a post.
“We don’t know what to say or do right now, but knowing that we have big family and friends means so much to us and the kids right now. But while the tears are falling, we want to say thank you to everyone, including the first responders. Our only prayer is for Charlie and Michele Erway’s recovery so we can be with you both.”
A GoFundMe for another victim’s family can be found here.
Melissa Stocking, the aunt of one of the victims, also set up GoFundMe write for her niece’s family: “My niece was on fire. (Your) family will need all the help and support they can get through this terrible time. (She) was so in love with another child who was lost in the fire and he loved her just as much.”
“The only mercy we can reconcile is that they were together. (She) is survived by her mother Jean, father Jon, stepfather Donny, younger sister Lelynn, her grandparents as well as an aunt and uncle and many cousins and other family members.”
Three of the victims attended Pennsylvania’s Northern Potter School District, which offers grief counseling to anyone who might need it.
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https://www.the-sun.com/news/5108437/five-children-killed-in-horror-house-fire/ Five children have been killed in a horror house fire as two adults were injured trying to save children who ‘couldn’t escape’.