Investigators say Aden Abdakadr and his two young children, ages two and one-year-old, were killed in Sunday's apartment fire in Springfield.
"These people lost their lives," said Sherylyn Rodriguez who lives two apartments away from the family.
"They lost their homes and they have nothing to return to."
Rodriguez said she slept through the fire alarms. She woke up to the sound of screaming children.
"The rest of (their) family got out and I was on the bus with part of the family that was rescued from that," said Rodriguez. "All I heard was 'did he go to the hospital, did he make it out, did he make it out?"
Imam Wissam Abdul Baki of the Islamic Center of Western Massachusetts said Abdakadr's wife, who is four months pregnant, escaped and is in the hospital.
The family immigrated from Somalia years ago.
"The father went to save the children and he stayed with them," said Baki.
On Monday, fire investigators continued to go down their list of possible causes.
They flew a drone to look at the destruction.
Commissioner BJ Calvi said the fire started on the second floor and worked its way up.
Abdakadr and his children were found in an apartment on the second floor.
According to Calvi, fire alarms tend to go off frequently in buildings such as this.
"First thing companies didn't see a lot of people evacuating from the building on this side and there are very few on the other side upon arrival," said Calvi. "Right after they pulled up upon arrival they had several people jumping from windows...they could have quite possible been ignoring the alarm."
Calvi said at this point, the fire does not appear to be suspicious.
The nearly 80 people who have been displaced are staying in hotels until they can find permanent housing.