5 children killed in fire at Pennsylvania daycare centre

First responders at the scene of a deadly day care center fire in Erie Pennsylvania on Sun. Aug. 11 2019.             
    CBS affiliate WSEE-TV

The fire at the day care center, operated within a residence, was reported at 1:15 a.m., officials told the AP.

Erie Police Chief Dan Spizarny told the Erie Times-News that detectives are working to determine whether any of the victims were staying at the daycare.

The address of the home matched that of a day care called the Harris Family Daycare, but it's unclear if victims were there as part of the day care. WSEE-TV reported that the day care may have been operating overnight at a home.

"So we are all at a loss, trying to figure out how this happened", the woman, Valerie Lockett-Slupski, told the Web site.

The cause of the fire remained under investigation Sunday afternoon, Widomski told the newspaper. But a January 3, 2019, inspection note on that listing highlighted "ashes and cigarette or cigar butts" in "a child care space, play space or food preparation area".

More news: Hong Kong Police Arrest of Woman Sparks Fury From Crowd

But a January 3 inspection noted "protective receptacle covers shall be placed in electrical outlets accessible to children 5 years of age or younger" and said the provider's planned correction was to turn "the outlets so they were closed" when not in use.

Each of the issues had been marked as corrected since the inspection, the AP reported.

The homeowner and daycare operator, Elaine Harris, was hospitalized for injuries she sustained during the fire and was in stable condition.

CNN reports two teens in the home who jumped from a second-floor window to escape the fire also were injured, as well as a neighbor who tried to get into the house to help people still inside.

Erie's two fire inspectors and three police detectives were investigating the cause of the fire, which triggered major structural damage to the three-story building, according to the paper.

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