5 children killed in Pennsylvania daycare fire

5 children killed in Pennsylvania daycare fire

Lawrence Park Township volunteer firefighter Luther Jones' two daughters La'Myhia Jones, eight, and Ava Jones, four, as well as his son Luther Jones Jr., six, were killed in the fire. A woman, Elaine Harris, is reported to have also been taken out of the fire and sent to hospital.

Santone said the children who died were between 8 months to roughly 8 years old.

Erie fire officials say the children were staying overnight at a house that had been turned into a daycare center.

Erie firefighters responded to the blaze in the three-story building around 1 a.m. amid reports of children trapped inside.

Valerie Lockett-Slupski said that four of her grandchildren died in the fire.

She said the family had two boys and two girls and had used the day care for nearly a year.

"So we are all at a loss, trying to figure out how this happened", Locket-Slupski told reporters Sunday, per the Washington-Examiner.

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According to Fire Chief Guy Santone, investigators believe an "electrical overload" could have sparked the fire, because there were multiple electrical cords running under a living room couch, with many things plugged into them.

The Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership lists a day care at the fire address.

Still, the day care received a full fire inspection on December 28, 2018, and was found to be in compliance. But a January 3, 2019, inspection note on that listing highlighted "ashes and cigarette or cigar butts" in "a child care space, play space or food preparation area".

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 will make sure that they are turned closed when not in use".

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

The owner of the center was flown to UPMC Mercy for treatment, Santone said.

Anyone with information about the fire is asked to call Erie police Detective Sgt. Michael Hertel at 814-870-1260 or Detective David Walker at 814-870-1122. A ninth person - a neighbor who ran into the blaze to help others escape - was also injured.

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