Five children died in a Pennsylvania house fire that blew flames out of every first-floor window early Sunday, authorities said.
The blaze in Erie, reported at about 1:15 a.m., also hospitalized a woman, Chief Fire Inspector John Widomski told the Erie Times-News. A 12-year-old and a 17-year-old reportedly escaped by jumping off a roof.
Chief Guy Santone of the Erie Fire Department said the victims ranged in age from 8 months to 7 years. A daycare operates at the site of the fire, according to the Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership. Detectives are working to determine whether any of the victims were staying at the daycare, Erie Police Chief Dan Spizarny told the Erie Times-News.
"We offer our deepest sympathies to all effected by this horrible tragedy and we keep the survivors in our thoughts and prayers," the Fire Department said in a Facebook post.
Neighbor Danika Scott told the newspaper the fire spread quickly, noting she heard the 17-year-old scream while jumping off the roof.
“That fire was just nuts ... nuts,” said Scott, who reported the fire after seeing the flames from her side window.
Investigators believe the fire ignited in the living room area on the first floor, Widomski said. Firefighters didn't clear the scene until almost four hours after the blaze was reported, Erie County 911 told the newspaper.
Contributing: The Associated Press
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Pennsylvania house fire kills 5 children, Erie officials say