Firefighter was dad to 3 of 5 kids killed in daycare blaze

Erie Bureau of Fire Inspector Mark Polanski helps investigate a fatal fire at 1248 West 11th St. in Erie Pa on Sunday Aug. 11 2019. Authorities say an early morning fire in northwestern Pennsylvania claimed the lives of multiple children and sent anot

Firefighter was dad to 3 of 5 kids killed in daycare blaze

There was just one smoke detector in a daycare center where five children died in a fire Sunday, the fire chief told multiple media outlets.

In a tragic twist, Jones worked for neighboring Lawrence Park Fire Department and was only battling a blaze in Erie because locals crews were desperately trying to rescue his kids at the day care center, the report said.

Two other children, 17 and 12, climbing on the roof and jumped to the ground. One of the neighbors attempted to enter the burning building, but the smoke was too thick, according to Erie News Now.

Officials are considering the possibility that it was arson, but the incident is still under investigation and nothing can be said for certain, Chief Santone said.

However, by then, the fire had taken over most of the house.

Erie Bureau of Fire Inspector Mark Polanski helps investigate a fatal fire at 1248 West 11th St.in Erie, Pa, on Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019.

The Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership lists a day care at the fire address.

Go Erie reported that Pennsylvania Department of Human Services records list the daycare as being compliant following a December 2018 inspection, with a certificate of compliance covering March 21, 2019 to March 2020. But a January 3 inspection note highlighted "ashes and cigarette or cigar butts" in "a child care space, play space or food preparation area".

The day care center's response to the note reads, "I will make sure it will be cleaned up and remain that way", and the department listed the issue as corrected. "I will make sure that they are turned closed when not in use".

Widomski said the fire appeared to have started in the living room area on the first floor.

That issue was also listed as being corrected.

The mother of Jones' three children, Shevona Overton, who said she is also the mother of another child killed, told WICU that she had "lost a piece of me that can never be replaced".

The owner of the day care was flown to the the University of Pittsburgh Medical Centre for treatment, Mr Santone said.

Anyone with information about the fire is asked to call Erie police Detective Sgt. Michael Hertel at 814-870-1260 or Detective David Walker at 814-870-1122.

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