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Seven kids killed in farmhouse fire in Pennsylvania

March 09, 2011|From Times wire reports

BLAIN, Pa. — A farmhouse fire killed seven children Tuesday while their mother was in a barn milking cows, according to a state trooper. Their father was reportedly taking a nap in a delivery truck not far from the home.

The children, six girls and a boy, were found dead inside the house, CNN reported. One child survived. Those who died ranged in age from 7 months to 11 years.

The children's father had left the two-story home, on a working farm in dairy country not far from the state capital, to get his truck around 10 p.m. Tuesday, Trooper Tom Pinkerton said. Two children, ages 2 and 3, were watching television at the time.

The father drove a short distance away to pick up milk and then parked the truck about a mile from home. Then, Pinkerton said, he nodded off.

Soon after, one of the children smelled smoke in the home and ran to the barn to alert the mother, Pinkerton said. The mother called 911, ran with the child to the father's truck and banged on its windows, screaming that their home was on fire, he said.

By the time the father returned to the home in Blain, about 20 miles north of Harrisburg, it was fully engulfed by flames, Pinkerton said. Firefighters had arrived and were battling the blaze at the charred home, whose windows were blown out.

No cause or origin of the fire had been determined by early Wednesday morning. Fire marshals were investigating.

A fire truck and an ambulance remained at the scene while firefighters sifted through debris on the ground floor of the farmhouse, which is surrounded by barns and silos.

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