ERIE, Pa. — Authorities say a morning fire in Pennsylvania claimed the lives of five children and sent another person to the hospital.
In a Facebook post, city officials said that firefighters responding to a structure fire shortly after 1:00 a.m. found seven people trapped inside a home in the western Pennsylvania city.
Chief Guy Santone of the Erie Fire Department says the victims ranged in ages from 8 months to 7 years.
On Facebook, a local firefighters union said it had been a “tough night” for emergency workers who responded to the fire.
Investigators were still working to identify the cause of the fire, though NBC News affiliate WICU reported that it was possible the blaze was intentionally set.
A state-run health and human services website lists a daycare at the address where the fire occurred. A message left with a phone number listed for the business, Harris Family Day Care, was not immediately returned.
Erie Police Chief Dan Spizarny told the Erie Times-News that detectives are working to determine whether any of the victims were staying at the daycare.
Chief Fire Inspector John Widomski told The Erie Times-News that a woman who also lives at the residence was flown to UPMC Mercy for treatment. Fire Chief Guy Santone told the paper that a neighbor was also injured.