Mother and 4 children die in a house fire
A mother and four children were killed when flames swept through their rural Massachusetts home early Saturday, fire officials said.
Two other family members escaped the fire, which broke out in the single-family house about 12:45 a.m. Investigators said initial indications suggested the blaze was accidental and possibly started in a wood stove in the kitchen.
The bodies of the victims were recovered in the rubble of the home once the fire was extinguished several hours later, authorities said. The victims had not yet been identified.
“There was nothing we could have done different, unfortunately,” an emotional Fire Chief Ron Gates said during an afternoon news conference. “When we got on scene, the house was totally engulfed.”
The town of fewer than 800 residents in Franklin County, in the northwestern part of the state, has no fire hydrants, and firefighters had to draw water from a source about a half-mile from the house, Gates said.
The two people who escaped the fire, believed to be an adult and a child, were taken to a hospital in Keene, N.H., with injuries that were not considered life-threatening.