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UNIONTOWN (KDKA) — State police say two children, a brother and sister, were killed in an early morning house fire in South Union Township, Fayette County. Their parents and other relatives were able to escape the flames.
The fire broke out after 5 a.m. along South Mount Vernon Avenue near Station Street in Uniontown.
Several fire crews and the Fayette County Coroner’s Office were called to the scene.
According to state police, two children died in the fire.
The Fayette County Coroner’s Office identifies the victims as 7-year-old Ryleigh Weasenforth and her 5-year-old brother, Gunner Weasenforth. They were found in a back bedroom of the duplex.
“Everybody upstairs got out. Mom and dad got out from downstairs, but the two little kids, we just couldn’t get to them,” said Chief Rickey McCormick, South Union Fire Department.
Chief McCormick said the flames seemed centered near the entrance to the kids’ bedroom.
“They were in their bedroom, still in bed, in the back corner of the structure,” Chief McCormick said.
A neighbor says their mother has been battling cancer.
Heartbreaking pictures of the brother and sister who died in the Uniontown fire. A neighbor told me she often watched the little ones, 7 and 5 years old, playing in the yard and catching the bus. She said she is praying for their mom, who already battled cancer. @KDKA pic.twitter.com/VhzWnDvchQ
— MEGHAN SCHILLER (@MeghanKDKA) January 8, 2019
The first floor of the structure was destroyed. Fire officials say the flames were so intense, it blew out the windows of the duplex and melted the siding on a neighboring home.
The children’s parents were home at the time the fire broke out. There are reports that other family members lived nearby.
The Herald-Standard reports a firefighter was treated after burning his hand.
The coroner’s office said the children’s cause of death will not be released until the autopsies are completed on Tuesday afternoon.
As for the cause of the fire, the investigation is still ongoing.
“The fire marshal is on scene right now and they’re gonna comb through it and do the investigation. They’re not sure at this time,” said Tpr. Robert Broadwater, of Pennsylvania State Police.
Neighbors tell KDKA they are praying for the family during this terrible time and will fondly remember the two adorable children playing in the yard and waiting to catch the school bus nearby.
If you would like to help the family, a GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family.
Stay with KDKA for the latest on this developing story.