Five children were killed and two adults injured in an apartment fire on Monday evening.
Firefighters responded to a 3:30 a.m. call in Genessee, Pennsylvania, but were unable to rescue the five children believed to be at the home when the fire broke out.
By the time police and firefighters arrived, the home was reportedly ablaze.
First responders found five children unable to leave the residence, Erie News Now reports.
Two adults from the home, Charlie and Michele Erway, managed to escape, but both were injured trying to save the children inside.
Charlie suffered burns to his body, while Michele was injured when he jumped out the window and inhaled smoke.
Both adults were flown to a hospital in Rochester, New York, but there is no information on their condition.
Charlie’s father, Wayne Erway, lives next door to his son and heard the fire start around 3 or 3:30 p.m.
“I was in the living room, sitting in a chair, and I was like, ‘Boom!’ heard. “Wayne Erway told the Olean Times Herald.
“(Charlie) usually goes to work in the morning and at first I thought he started his car.
“But when I looked here, it wasn’t the car headlights that I was looking at. The house was pretty much swallowed up. »
The fire brigade and police are still investigating the cause of the fire, which apparently broke out in the basement of the house.
The fire is currently not considered suspicious.
All five victims were teenagers and in high school.
Three of the victims were children of Charlie and Michele and the other two were friends who were staying at the house, according to local reports.
Police were unable to verify the victims’ names when they were contacted by The Sun.
A friend of the Erways created a GoFundMe page that has already raised nearly $33,000.
“Thank you all for the words, hugs and prayers for our family. Deb and I both received a hug from (our daughter) on Sunday, not knowing it would be our last from our daughter,” said Brian and Debra Salmonson, parents of one of the teens who died, in a post.
“We don’t know what to say or do right now, but knowing that we have big family and friends means so much to us and the kids right now. But while the tears shed, we want to thank everyone, including the first responders. Our only prayer is for Charlie and Michele Erway’s recovery so we can be with you both.
A GoFundMe for another victim’s family can be found here.
Melissa Stocking, the aunt of one of the victims, also created a GoFundMe for her niece’s family and wrote, “My niece was on fire. (His) family will need all the help and support they can get during this terrible time. . (She) was so in love with another child who was lost in the fire and he loved her so much. »
“The only mercy we can accept is that they were together. (She) is survived by her mother Jean, father Jon, stepfather Donny, younger sister Lelynn, grandparents and an aunt and uncle, among many others. Cousins and other family members.
Three of the victims attended Pennsylvania’s Northern Potter School District, which provides grief counseling for anyone who needs it.
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