6 Die After Late-Night Fire In Pottsville - KMSP-TV

6 Die After Late-Night Fire In Pottsville

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A family of six has been killed in a late-night fire in Pottsville, fire crews confirmed Monday morning.

Investigators say four children and two adults are dead.

The fire broke out around midnight on the 200 block of Pierce Street.

Video from the scene shows smoke and flames just pouring out of the windows as firefighters tried to get control.

We're told the people killed in the blaze were Eric Brown, 30, and his four children – two boys and two girls, ages 2,3, 7 and 8 – along with his 26-year-old sister-in-law, Christina Thomas.

Fire officials said seven people lived in the home. Just one adult, the mother, survived. She was across the street in another house doing laundry.

Cameras on the ground and SkyFOX showed the home, located at the top of a hill, was completely burned out.

Five firefighters suffered minor injuries battling the blaze.

Pottsville had not had a fire fatality in six years, FOX 29's Steve Keeley reported from the scene.

Pottsville Fire Chief Todd March said he's only had two fire in his 37-year career with multiple deaths, and in both of those cases it was two.

"We've had nothing like this before," March said. "A lot of the younger guys haven't had a fire death. A lot of the guys are affected by this, especially the kids."

The initial call was apparently to the police department for a disturbance. A neighbor tried to get in but couldn't. Fire crews were called in and arrived within minutes, but there was little they could do.

"When the police got here, and the neighbors, they all tried to get in the back of the building. One of our police officers tried to get into the basement door in the front. He got in so far, but there was flames were already coming down the stairs from the second floor down to the first."

The fire crews got water in the fire immediately, March said, but within five minutes the entire front of the building was engulfed in flames.

"The neighbors smelled smoke, including the mother, and they came out to see what was going on, and they just saw it, you know, heavily involved in the back of the building, a lot of smoke coming out the front," March said.

The neighbors' response was apparently what led to the "disturbance" call to police, according to the fire chief.

All of the victims were found in the bedrooms and were believed to be asleep at the time of the fire. Two were in the back bedroom, one was in the middle bedroom, and three were in the front bedroom.

There's no word on what sparked the fire.

"It looks like it started back in the kitchen area. We're going to look at that, see if it has something to do with it," March said. "The floors are burnt out in a lot of places, so we've got to watch what we're doing in there."

The fire chief added that there's nothing to indicate that it's suspicious right now, but they're going to take a very close look, with there being six fatalities.

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