Three children and seven adults have died in a house fire in the US state of Pennsylvania, and a firefighter called to the scene was horrified to find the victims were his own family.
Pennsylvania State Police confirmed the names of six of the victims, but have yet to identify the youngest children, ages five, six and seven.
A criminal investigation has been launched into the fire’s cause.
The blaze is thought to have begun on the porch early on Friday morning.
Harold Baker, a Nescopeck Volunteer Fire Company firefighter said that the dead were his son, daughter, father-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, three grandchildren and two other relatives.
He said the three children who died, two boys and a girl did not live in the home, and were visiting for summer activities.
Harold Baker said his son, Dale, had followed his footsteps by joining the fire service.
Police say the bodies were recovered from the destroyed building with the help of police sniffer dogs. Three adults managed to escape to safety, according to a police report.
The fire broke out in the rural community of Nescopeck, 95 miles northwest of Philadelphia, at around 02:30 local time.
“Firefighters attempted courageous efforts to make entry into the house in the rear, but were pushed back from extensive flames and heat,” Pennsylvania State Police Lt Derek Felsman told reporters on Friday.
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf wrote on Twitter that he was “heartbroken” by the tragedy.