A father and his two young children tragically died on Christmas day after their Christmas tree lights malfunctioned.
Eric and Kristin King’s Pennsylvania home caught fire while they were sleeping, leaving the house destroyed. Sadly, two of their children – Patrick, 8, and Liam, 88 – and their father, 41, died in the blaze, the Books County Coroner said.
Kristin and her eldest son Brady, 13, managed to escape together and were rushed to Lehigh Valley Hospital where they received treatment.
According to reports, the Christmas tree was in the center of the family home’s front window.
Firefighters made numerous attempts to rescue the children and their father trapped inside the house but they couldn’t reach them.
Patrick and Liam both went to Richland Elementary School in the third and fifth grades. Their eight-grader brother Brady goes to Strayer Middle School.
Speaking to KYW-TV, Quakertown’s chief of police Scott McElree said: “Right now, it’s our understanding that we’re looking at the Christmas tree that may have ignited as a result of Christmas lights on that Christmas tree.”
“We will be continuing to investigate to find out why it ignited, but the evidence is very clear that it started in the Christmas tree,” the chief continued.
“It was a real tree. It was such a hot fire that most of the content where it started is burnt.
“A Christmas tree burns very quickly and very hot,” he explained.
“When tree go dry, it’s a violent and robust source. There is an immense amount of heat and that probably contributed.”
McElree also said that the wooden stick-frame construction of the house helped fuel the fire.
“It’s horrendous,” he expressed. “This impacts us all. This impacts our community, our families in general, the kids in the schools and the people who know the King family.
“We’re partners in this and we and the school district will do what we can to support everyone.”
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