Quakertown Police said the fire broke out “near the Christmas tree” on Saturday night, where the accident occurred. “At this point, there are indications that the Christmas tree has caught fire as a result of the Christmas lights,” Police Chief Scott McCleary said.
Two dogs also died
He added that the five family members were sleeping on the second floor when the fire broke out. According to regional news channel Pinlife, smoke detectors were not working at the time of the fire. Rescuers managed to retrieve the bodies of the 40-year-old father and his two sons, aged 8 and 11. The mother and her eldest son managed to escape in time and suffered minor burns. The family’s dog was also killed.
The fire spread to a neighboring house, but its four residents managed to escape in time.
“This news is concerning for the area and for the whole of Quakertown,” the school community said. A website for donations has been created, where more than $300,000 (€265,000) has already been raised.
“They were always smiling and in positive spirits, you can’t help but love them. The three boys, Eric and Kristen, were a huge part of the Quakertown Youth Baseball League and spent their days and nights at baseball fields,” this site reads.