Five children dead, one missing after
Baltimore house fire
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[January 13, 2017]
By Gina Cherelus
(Reuters) - At least five children were
killed and one was missing on Thursday after a fire tore through a
three-story house in Baltimore, city fire department officials said.
The mother of the children killed was injured in the blaze, along with
three of her nine children, authorities said.
The fire had engulfed the house by the time firefighters arrived on the
scene at about 12:30 a.m. EST and its third floor collapsed onto the
second floor shortly afterwards, Baltimore Fire Department spokesman
Chief Roman Clark said.
Officials began recovering the bodies of the children, between 9 months
to 11 years old, at about 10:30 a.m., he said
Firefighters had to battle the blaze from outside due to the severity of
the flames and destruction. An excavator was used at to remove heavy
debris in the search for the one missing child, Clark said.
"Firefighters are doing what we call "hand dig" and they are going
through it by hand and small tools," Clark said. "It's a slow process,
we're trying not to disturb any remains."
The five children confirmed killed included a baby, a toddler and
3-year-old twin girls, according to fire officials.
Maryland Representative Elijah Cummings identified the mother as Katie
Malone, a special assistant who had worked in the congressman's office
for nearly 11 years, according to a press release from his office.
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Officials at the scene of a overnight house fire where several
children were presumed dead and others including the mother injured
in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S., January 12, 2017. REUTERS/Bryan
"My staff is a family and this unimaginable tragedy is shocking and
heartbreaking to us all," Cummings said in a statement.
The cause of the fire was under investigation.
(Reporting by Gina Cherelus; Editing by Andrew Hay and Tom Brown)
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