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EAST FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP (KDKA) – Two children have died after a Thursday morning house fire in East Franklin Township, Armstrong County.
According to officials at the scene, the fire broke out at a home in the 100 block of Pleasant View Drive around 10 a.m.
Three adults and five children were in the home at the time. The Armstrong County Coroner’s Office says the fire was discovered when one of the children alerted other family members to it. The family tried to put the fire out, but it was too far involved.
“The parents and the grandparents were alerted by one of the children that there was a fire upstairs,” said Armstrong County Coroner Brian Myers.
The two victims are identified as 13-year-old Emilee Hooten and her 10-year-old brother, Darren Hooten. They were found in an upstairs bedroom, and pronounced dead at the scene by the Armstrong County Coroner.
Their mother was flown to UPMC Mercy Hospital. The woman jumped from the home after trying to save her children.
“Mom jumped out of a second-story window with a 4-year-old child,” said Cpl. Tim Morando, of Pennsylvania State Police. “The grandfather was yelling for the other children to get to the window. That’s where we found the children.”
The mother’s boyfriend also jumped from the home, while the other two younger children escaped safely. Those three children were taken to a local hospital for observation, but did not suffer significant injuries.
How the fire broke out is now the focus. Investigators say there are no signs of foul play.
“The grandfather was remodeling the electrical system, so we are looking at that,” said Cpl. Morando. “We are also looking at some space heaters that were upstairs.”
The Pennsylvania State Police Fire Marshal and Armstrong County Coroner’s Office continue to investigate.