Three children between the ages of six and 13 were killed after a raging fire broke out in one home and spread to two others.
Eight family members were inside the Shenandoah, Texas, home when a fire started around 4am on Friday, Montgomery County fire officials said.
The three victims were found dead at the scene, while five others were taken to the hospital, with three in critical condition, KPRC reported.
Three police officers were also injured in the blaze that caused the home to collapse.
A neighbor called 911 after seeing a fire at the back of the home in the 19000 block of Johnson Road.
Police officers arrived at the scene and tried to rescue the four children who were trapped inside.
Working alongside family members, police managed to emerge with the badly burned 10-year-old, who was taken to the hospital in critical condition.
But the officers were not able to reach the stairs and the three other children, ranging from six to 13 years old, were later found dead inside the home.
‘It’s the worst job a firefighter can face. When he knows the children are in there, the building is collapsing, and then he knows he’s not going to be able to save them,’ Williams said.
The uncle and grandfather, remain hospitalized in critical condition with burns to their faces and torsos.
The children’s mother, 39, and grandmother suffered minor injuries and have already been released from the hospital.
The children’s father was traveling for work and not home at the time, according to Jimmy Williams of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office.
Two police officers from Shenandoah and one from Oak Ridge were also taken to the hospital with minor injuries.
It remains unclear whether the home had smoke detectors, and an investigation into the fire’s cause is still ongoing.
The home where the fire originated is said to belong to Pastor Bobby Johnson Jr of the Thergood Memorial Church of God in Christ in Willis, while a neighboring home that was also damaged belongs to his sister, KHOU reported.