5 children killed in fire at Pennsylvania care center

Clay Curtis
August 13, 2019

A fire at a day-care centre in the USA state of Pennsylvania has killed at least five children, including four siblings, officials said.

The victims names have not yet been released, however they reportedly ranged in age from eight months to seven years.

Crotty said that at the time of the fire Jones was responding to another call for what turned out to be a malfunctioning alarm.

The fifth child who died has not yet been identified publicly.

The owner of the day care was flown to the the University of Pittsburgh Medical Centre for treatment, Mr Santone said.

"If there were the proper amount of smoke detectors in this structure, then most, if not all, would have survived", Santone told CNN.

Valerie Lockett-Slupski, who was the grandmother of four of the victims, told New York's WNBC that her grandchildren had been going to the daycare for almost a year.

The facility is a 24-hour day care called Harris Family Daycare.

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Two boys, said to be Harris' sons, suffered minor injuries jumping from upper floor windows in the two story wood-frame house.

"We are all at a loss, trying to figure out how this happened", she said.

Santone said only one smoke detector was found in the house.

Go Erie reported that Pennsylvania Department of Human Services records list the daycare as being compliant following a December 2018 inspection, with a certificate of compliance covering March 21, 2019 to March 2020. The department's two fire inspectors and three Erie police detectives trained in fire investigations are working to determine the cause of the blaze. But a January 3 inspection note highlighted "ashes and cigarette or cigar butts" in "a child care space, play space or food preparation area".

Erie police detectives said the owner was in stable condition, the newspaper reported.

The day-care center's response to the note reads, "I will make sure it will be cleaned up and remain that way", and the department listed the issue as corrected. "I love them dearly".

Both issues were said to have been marked as being corrected after the inspection.

"So firefighters. started attacking the fire, but another group of firefighters laddered the side of the building and got up into the bedrooms", Mr Santone told local ABC News affiliate Jet24.

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