BETHLEHEM, Pa. – A fire tore through a row house on Sunday, killing four children and severely burning at least one other person, authorities said. Several firefighters and a paramedic had minor injuries.
A neighbor said a teenage boy jumped from a second-story window to escape the early morning blaze.
High winds and the collapse of the building's roof complicated efforts to rescue residents and control the blaze, fire Lt. Joe Chernaskey said.
The 4:30 a.m. fire destroyed the middle of three row houses, though the others were also damaged. Each home was occupied, but officials did not immediately know how many people were inside or how many escaped.
The four dead children included two boys, ages 11 and 13, and two girls, ages 5 and 7, Northampton County Coroner Zachary Lysek said. Lysek did not release the names of the victims.
Neighbors said the middle house was home to a woman and five children.
Hector Lugo, 27, who lives three doors away, was awakened by the sound of the woman screaming "Help! Help! My kids are inside." He saw the teenager on fire jump from the window and watched as firefighters doused the flames from him, he said.
When firefighters opened the front door, flames exploded outward, forcing people to run for cover, Lugo said.