Skip to main content

5 children dead in Florida fire

By the CNN Wire Staff
Click to play
Five children killed in house fire
  • At least 3 others escape the home
  • The home is engulfed by flames when firefighters arrive
  • Neighbor says she heard mother screaming for her children
  • Marion County
  • Florida

For more information visit CNN affiliates WKMG and WESH.

(CNN) -- Investigators were working early Tuesday to figure out what caused a fire in a home in Marion County, Florida, that killed five children.

Firefighters got a call about the blaze at about 10:40 p.m. and arrived eight minutes after the emergency call, said Peveeta Persaud, a spokesperson for Marion County Fire Rescue.

"When they arrived the structure was fully engulfed," said Persaud. "It was a wooden structure."

Two girls, ages 6 and 12, were killed in the blaze, along with three boys, ages 8, 13 and 15.

At least three other people in the home were able to escape and were taken to nearby hospitals, the spokeswoman said.

The fire marshal and other officials were working to determine what caused the blaze, Persaud said.

A neighbor told CNN affiliate WKMG that she was able to break a window and help get one woman out of the home but the smoke and fire was so treacherous that she could not help any of the others.

"The whole house was engulfed in flames. And I heard the mom yell, 'My babies, my babies are inside,'" said the sobbing neighbor, who was not identified. "It is very, very sad because I wanted to get all the babies out. My kids play with their kids."

Marion County is located about 90 miles northwest of Orlando, Florida.

CNN's Samuel Gardner III contributed to this report.