A house fire killed three children and their bodies were buried inside when part of the structure collapsed into the basement, a fire official said Wednesday.

Five other people escaped when the fire broke out late Tuesday, Fire Chief Stan Crosley said in a statement.

The fire department did not release specific ages of the children who died, saying only that all were under 18.

Heavy equipment was being brought in for the effort to recover their bodies, the fire department said.

The house was already completely engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived, and sections began collapsing a short time later, officials said. Several passers-by tried but were unable to enter the house, the officials said.

Two girls, ages 14 and 12, jumped from a second floor window and three other people — two adults and a 9-year-old boy — fled through a back door, according to the fire department statement.

The house is in an unincorporated area with no fire hydrants in western Ohio's Shelby County, and a tanker shuttle was used to carry water to fight the blaze, fire Lt. Cameron Haller said. Icy conditions also hampered firefighters.

The 14-year-old girl was admitted to Lima Memorial Hospital. The other four survivors were treated for minor injuries and then released, the chief said.

The relationships among the eight were not immediately clear Wednesday.

The cause of the fire had not been determined.