Friday, 06 December, 2019


Five children killed in fire at US daycare

Erie Bureau of Fire Inspector Mark Polanski helps investigate a fatal fire at 1248 West 11th St. in Erie Pa on Sunday Aug. 11 2019 Five children killed in fire at US daycare
Bennie Garza | 13 August, 2019, 12:42

Officials said Monday that a volunteer firefighter was the father of three of five children who died in a blaze at an all-night child-care center in Pennsylvania.

Erie Bureau of Fire Inspector Mark Polanski helps investigate a fatal fire on Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019, in Erie, Pa. Authorities say the early-morning fire in northwestern Pennsylvania claimed the lives of multiple children and sent another person to the hospital.

The age of the young victims ranged from 8 months to 7 years, according to Erie Fire Chief Guy Santone.

The Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership lists the Harris Family Daycare as "a 24 hour, 7 days a week childcare service including holidays".

The owner of the house managed to escape the burning house and tried to drive herself to the hospital, but got into a auto crash, leading to her being airlifted to the hospital, the New York Times reported.

Santone said the homeowner was injured, along with a neighbor who tried to enter the burning home to rescue victims.

"We offer our deepest sympathies to all effected by this awful tragedy and we keep the survivors in our thoughts and prayers", officials from the Erie Fire Department wrote on Facebook.

The department's two fire inspectors and three Erie police detectives trained in fire investigations are working to determine the cause.

Two other children, aged 12 and 17, managed to jump out of the window, sustaining minor injuries.

While she could not speak to safety standards in Pennsylvania, Mattle says when you drop off your kids at any day care in NY, they are in good hands.

"We are all at a loss, trying to figure out how this happened", she said.

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

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.

He said the blaze appeared to have started in the living room area on the first floor.

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

The owner has been admitted to UPMC Mercy for treatment and is reportedly in stable condition.

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