A mother and her three children, along with their neighbor, are dead after a tragic fire burned through row houses in Kentucky, multiple reports confirm.
Another neighbor who survived the fire told ABC News that the mother had safely escaped, but went back inside as flames shot from the building to save her kids.
“We were saying, ‘God, no, God, no,’ and I knew she wasn’t coming back out,” Ruth Austen said.
According to ABC, the deceased include 35-year-old Lori Doppelheuer and her children, Christopher Kearney, 10, Eagan Hargis, 3, and 20-month old Kieran Hargis. Their neighbor, 68-year-old Larry R. Brickles, was also identified.
The father of the children survived the tragic incident and was able to save two of his other kids – two girls ages 15 and 7 – from the flames, after going in and out of the building several times, Maysville Fire Chief Kevin Doyle told the network.
“He threw a blanket over them, scooped them up and took them out,” he said.
The fire started at around 1 a.m. on Tuesday morning in the five row-houses, each sitting three stories high in an older area of town, FOX News reports.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but ABC reports that arson has been ruled out and fire officials are treating the incident as an accident. They believe the flames erupted in a closed-in porch area near the back of one of the homes before spreading.
The flames gutted three of the homes and another two suffered damage – the extent of which is unclear.
According to ABC, the fire, that took nearly 40 firefighters from multiple stations to extinguish, has displaced at least 30 people.