Officials confirmed the death of a father and his two sons from the fire that broke out in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, the morning of Christmas, ABC7 reported.
According to Quakertown Police Chief Scott McElree, authorities are looking at early hints that the fire started at the home’s Christmas tree.
“Three family members are deceased as a result of the fire,” the police chief said. “We are looking at the Christmas tree that may have ignited as a result of Christmas lights on that Christmas tree.”
Killed were 40-year-old Eric King, 11-year-old Liam, and 8-year-old Patrick. Their two pet dogs also did not survive the fire, investigators said.
Officials said Kristin, Eric’s wife, was able to get out of the fire along with their oldest child Brady. The two were brought to Lehigh Valley Hospital and will undergo more assessment.
“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. Mom and Brady, an eighth-grader at Strayer Middle School, thankfully survived,” part of the letter Quakertown Community School District Superintendent Bill Harner released Saturday evening read.
The fire broke out on Saturday at around 1:30 in the morning in the King’s home on Essex Court.
Officials immediately tried to extinguish the fire when they arrived at the location.
They managed to get inside the burning house for once but got back due to the extreme blaze.
They tried several times to get the victims out to safety but they could not make it in time.
“I couldn’t see anybody, so I thought that they got everyone out, but it was sad to realize that not everybody was saved,” Wilson Martinez, the King’s neighbor, said.
Homes nearby were also destroyed by the fire. Officials said a home with four members was set ablaze but the family living there was unharmed.
The fire was declared under control at around 2:30 in the morning.