A mother and her seven children aged two to 14 were reported dead on Monday in France after a massive house fire broke out while they were sleeping, the rescue officials on the site said. The children included five girls and two boys. Julien Morino Ros, a local prosecutor told AFP that the mother and her children died from ‘asphyxiation.’
The incident occurred around midnight in Charly-sur-Marne. Ros added that the fire origin appeared to be a malfunctioning clothes dryer on the ground floor of the house.
Her husband and father to three of the children was severely burned and transferred to the hospital for treatment. His life was saved by a firefighter, who lived nearby and arrived at the site before his colleagues.
The prosecutor said the man tried to put out the fire while his children and wife were trapped inside. They tried to refuge on the second floor to escape, which turned out to be a trap for them.
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Neighbours called the fire department around 1:00 am to report the fire blaze.
A total of 80 firefighters arrived at the site. While the black smoke filled in the house, it was difficult for them to get their ladders to the top windows of the house.
According to the firefighters, the house’s electric window shutters were blocked due to a power outage, which hampered the rescue operation.
This fire blaze is by far the deadliest in the country in a decade. A similar tragic incident erupted in 2013 when five children between two and nine also died due to asphyxiation in an accidental fire in northern France.