Seven children killed in horrific house fire that claimed 12 lives pictured

Family photos of the children have been released as federal officials try to figure out what started the blaze which killed two sisters and seven of their children, along with others

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Philadelphia fire: The scene after at least 13 killed in horror blaze

Seven of the eight children killed in a house fire which also claimed the lives of five adults have been pictured.

It comes as investigators claim a five-year-old who survived the horror blaze could have started the fire by playing with lighter fluid near the family’s Christmas tree.

The terraced house in Philadelphia, US, went up in flames on Wednesday morning.

Four smoke detectors were inside their home but, despite working during the summer, they did not sound the alarm when the fire broke out.

Among those who lost their lives were sisters Rosalee McDonald, 33, Virginia Thomas, 30, and Quinsha White, 18, their relatives said.

Thomas’ four children perished in the Philadelphia fire which killed 13 people



Quintien Tate-McDonald, 16, and his 14-year-old younger sister Destiny McDonald, also died.

The other children who perished have not yet been named but family photos have this morning been released.

Family members have stated the victims ranged in age from 33 to just one years old while another two people, including a child, remain in critical condition.

Philadelphia Deputy Fire Commissioner Craig Murphy said it was the worst fire he had tackled in 35 years in the service.

Three of McDonald’s six children died on Wednesday, which claimed 13 lives



Rosalee McDonald died in the fire, family confirmed



The blaze began at around 6.30am in the kitchen on the second floor of the home. It then quickly spread upwards, ripping through the top of the building.

It marked the deadliest fire in the city in over a hundred years.

The Philadelphia Inquirer report that the five-year-old boy, who made it out alive, told a neighbour and later a paramedic, a firefighter and hospital staff, how the fire had started and that his mother had died.

The District Attorney are probing the fire and Matthew Varisco, who leads Philly’s branch of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives spoke about the tragedy.

It was reportedly started when a five-year-old set a Christmas on fire


ABC 6)

He said: “I know that we will hopefully be able to provide a specific origin and cause to this fire and to provide some answers to the loved ones and, really, to the city.”

Fire Department Deputy Chief Dennis Merrigan said the city Fire Marshal’s Office is leading a “very complex” investigation that uses laser scanners to create 3-D renderings of the inside of the structure.

Family members Qaadira and Jacuita Purifoy told CBS Philly that the terrible events have left them heartbroken.

“There was no alarm was in the house. There were three of them and none of them worked,” they told the network.

Virginia Thomas, 30, lost her life in the blaze



“So I feel like this could have been avoided.”

The city’s mayor Jim Kenney was in tears as he addressed the media at thew scene of the fire.

He said: “This is without a doubt one of the most tragic days in the city’s history.’

“Please keep all these folks and these children in your prayers. Losing so many kids is devastating. Keep these babies in your prayers.”

Relatives and family members watch as emergency services work at the scene of a deadly fire


AFP via Getty Images)

A GoFundMe created the day after the fire to cover funeral expenses has already raised more than $120,000.

On Thursday, members of an ATF response team, electrical engineers and other specialists investigated what was left of the tree-story house, taking photos and combing through the charred remains.

The building is owned by Philadelphia Housing Authority, the city’s public housing agency.

The city housing authority’s president, Kelvin Jeremiah, said that 14 people, were allowed to live in the four-bed upstairs apartment where the fire originally broke out.

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