A father and two of his children tragically died in a house fire that also left his wife and three other children injured.
The incident occurred on Christmas morning around 1:30 am.
Eric King, his wife Kristin, and their children Brady, 13, Liam, 11, and Patrick, 8, were asleep in their Pennsylvania home when the fire broke out.
Kristin and Brady managed to escape the fire but Eric and sons Liam and Patrick got trapped along with the family’s two dogs, fire officials told WPVI.
Speaking with CNN, Quakertown Fire Marshall Doug Wilhelm said that Kristin and Brady received treatment at a local hospital with minor injuries.
He also said that the ‘area of origin’ for the blaze was a Christmas tree.
Quaktertown Police Chief Scott McElree told WPVI: “Three family members are deceased as a result of the fire.
“We are looking at the Christmas tree that may have ignited as a result of Christmas lights on that Christmas tree.”
But Wilhelm said to The Washington Post that it may be hard to determine the definite cause of the fire as the family’s home was completely destroyed.
“There’s nothing left,” he said.
McElree also warned others about the dangers of having a real Christmas tree.
“The evidence is very clear that it started in the Christmas tree. It was a real tree. A Christmas tree burns very quickly and very hot,” he said.
After the devastating incident, Quatertown School District Superintendent Bill Harner wrote a letter to the community and said it was with ‘unbearable sorrow’ that he has to share with the locals.
“It is with unbearable sorrow that I share with you this Christmas Day the tragic news that the King family, in a house fire early today, lost their father and two children, Richland Elementary School students, Liam, a fifth-grader, and Patrick, a third-grader,” he said.
“Mom and Brady, an eighth-grader at Strayer Middle School, thankfully survived.”
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