An Arizona house fire claimed the lives of a father, his four children, and a young relative while the father was out shopping for Christmas, according to the police.
On Monday, the authorities said that the fire that occurred on Saturday evening completely consumed the two-story house, and that there were no survivors.
An eleven-year-old was a visiting relative, and the other four youngsters were siblings. Their ages ranged from two to thirteen years old.
The names of the children and the father have not been made public by the authorities as they continue their investigation into the fire.
It was just before 17:00 local time (1:00 GMT) on Saturday that the fire broke out in Bullhead City, which is located approximately 100 miles (160 kilometers) south of Las Vegas.
“The children’s father reported to investigators that he was gone for approximately 2.5 hours to buy groceries and Christmas gifts,” in a statement released by the Bullhead City police department.
According to the first investigation, the fire started at the entranceway of the downstairs area, which “most likely made it impossible for the children in the upstairs bedroom to get out of the residence safely,” as stated by the authorities.
All five bodies were discovered in the same bedroom located on the upper floor. It looked that the fire had made its way up the one and only stairway in the house, preventing them from successfully escaping.
Residents of the neighborhood were seen frantically gathering hoses and ladders in an effort to put out the fire, as told by witnesses.
An individual who witnessed the event, Patrick O’Neal, stated to the local CBS News affiliate KTVK, “We pulled the garage door open, and there were guys pulling stuff out.” “The closer we got to the door there was smoke starting to come into the garage and choking people out.”
He went on to say that the neighbours were completely oblivious that anyone was inside the house. He stated that they would have made an effort to save the person if they had known.
The fire was reported to have started when there were no adults present in the house.
A memorial service is scheduled to take place in a nearby park on Wednesday evening, and as of Tuesday, a GoFundMe campaign had generated more than $14,000 (£11,000) to assist the families in covering the costs associated with the funeral.