A fire in Citra, Florida reported around 10:30 last night has left five children dead. Here’s more from WESH-TV:
Fire officials said a 21-year-old woman was severely burned and taken to Shands Hospital in Gainesville for treatment.
Two other woman, fire officials said, were able to escape the burning wooden home.
Neighbors reportedly heard screaming and were able to help two adults, the children’s mother and grandmother, out of the home, but could not get to the kids, three boys and two girls.
Marion County Fire Rescue said the two girls were taken to a hospital where they died, and firefighters found the three boys’ bodies in the burned home.
A woman, reportedly the sister of the mother of the children, who had escaped was severely burned and airlifted to Shands Hospital in Gainesville in critical condition. The children’s mother suffered only minor injuries.
Marion County sheriff’s Detective Donald Buie said the mother and grandmother told him a space heater in the living room may have been to blame.
The women told Buie they were awake in their room when they hear the children screaming that there was a fire. When they emerged from the room, they found the front portion of the home fully engulfed in flames. They escaped through their bedroom windows, but the children were trapped inside.
Another neighbor, Dennis Flood, said he was inside his home when he heard screaming.
Flood said his family members knocked out windows, trying unsuccessfully to find a way into the home. They shouted in an effort to get the attention of the people inside.