ERIE, Pa. (KDKA/CBS News) – Five children are dead following a day care fire in Erie.
A grieving mother said four of the victims are her children. Shevona Overton told CBS affiliate WSEE-TV their names are La’Myhia Jones, 8; Luther Jones Jr., 6; Ava Jones, 4; and Jaydan Augustyniak, 9 months.
“I’m just so hurt my babies are gone,” Overton told Erie News Now Lisa Adams. “I love them dearly. I just hurt inside knowing that my kids were fighting and hurting in that fire. Every minute, I feel the same pain.”
Earlier, officials said a volunteer firefighter was the father of three of five children. Lawrence Park Township Volunteer Fire Chief Joe Crotty says Luther Jones’ two daughters and a son were killed in the fire.
CBS affiliate WSEE-TV reports that Luther Jones was at the scene of another call just blocks away when the day care began to burn.
The fatal house fire on 1248 West 11th Street erupted early Sunday morning around 1:15 a.m. at the Harris Family Daycare.
The owner of the home, Elaine Harris, was also injured in the fire and flown to a Pittsburgh hospital. She is reportedly in stable condition.
Firefighters successfully got all seven people inside the house out, but five children died.
“These firefighters are tough, but when something like this happens, it is different,” Erie Fire Chief Guy Santone said.
Santone told WSEE investigators suspect an electrical overload may have sparked the fire, and there was only one smoke detector located in the attic of the home.
The home operated as a 24-hour daycare.