(SOUTH BEND, Ind.) — A house fire in South Bend, Indiana, killed five children on Sunday evening, according to fire officials.
Crews responded to a residential fire at 222 North LaPorte Ave at approximately 6:15 p.m. local time. When they arrived, a two-story structure was engulfed in flames. South Bend firefighters said they found several victims trapped on the second floor of the building.
Six individuals were rescued from the home and five were later pronounced dead, officials said. The surviving victim was rushed to a local hospital and later airlifted to a specialized pediatric burn center in Indianapolis for further treatment. The ages of the victims are not currently known.
One adult was in the house at the time of the fire and was uninjured, fire officials told ABC News.
Amid the rescue efforts, one firefighter was injured after falling through the second floor and was transported to the hospital for treatment, according to officials. The firefighter is expected to make a full recovery, officials noted.
“While this incident casts a shadow of sorrow over our community, particularly due to the loss of young lives, it is also a poignant reminder of the courage and dedication displayed by the members of the South Bend Fire Department,” the department said in a statement.
“The firefighters of Engine 2, in their unyielding commitment to protect and serve, exhibited a profound disregard for their own safety in the face of extreme danger. Their actions reflect the highest ideals of selflessness and a citizens-first ethos, characteristics emblematic of the bravery inherent in our city’s first responders,” the statement continued.
The South Bend Fire Department said it is working with state and local authorities to investigate the cause of the fire.
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