A mother and four children were killed after a fire tore through a home early Saturday morning in Warwick, Massachusetts.
The Massachusetts State Fire Marshal's Office said the blaze started at about 12:45 a.m. at a one-family home on Richmond Road and quickly reached 3-alarms.
According to Chief Ron Gates from the Warwick Fire Department, the fire likely started in a wood stove. By the time crews got to the home it was fully engulfed in flames.
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“Windows were blown out, the roof was caving in, we didn’t have a chance to knock it town,” Gates said while holding back tears at a press conference on Saturday.
The small town has no fire hydrants and officials say firefighters had to draw water about a half mile from the scene. The father and one child were able to escape the fire, but crews were unable to save the mother and remaining four children. They were taken to an area hospital for treatment, according to Massachusetts State Police spokesman David Procopio.
"It's heartbreaking," Procopio said. "It's a fairly remote area. They are in the process of searching for victims and collecting evidence."
David Young, Warwick's town coordinator, told The Recorder newspaper of Greenfield that a mother and four children had been among the missing and that three of the children attended public schools in the small Franklin County community. State officials did not immediately confirm the number of children missing.
Young said little was left of the home after the fire. At least 16 fire departments from the area helped battle the blaze.
Warwick Fire and State Police assigned to the Office of the State Fire Marshal are investigating the exact cause of the blaze.
Warwick is a small town in Franklin County in northwestern Massachusetts. The incident is truly devastating for the town with a population of 900.
“Our community has suffered a great loss of life, a huge blow to our spirit that we are only beginning to realize,” Young said.
According to the State Fire Marshal, all twelve firefighters in the department knew the family and are mourning the loss.