A father and two of his daughters have been killed by a massive apartment block fire in California, after the man went back inside the building to try and save his children.
The man’s eight-year-old son was also severely injured in the incident that took place in Hemet, 90 miles east of Los Angeles.
Authorities said the fire broke out in the family’s second-floor home in the early hours of Friday and that the 41-year old man was able to get his wife, their infant and an 11-year-old child to safety.
At that point, the father reentered the building to try and save his other children.
The girls who died were aged 12 and four, according to the authorities, who have not yet identified the family involved.
Nate Miller of the Hemet police department, said the mother had told officers the family had been asleep when flames broke out.
“Our hearts go out to the family,” said Mr Miller.
“It’s my understanding that the 41-year-old male went back inside to rescue other family members. He wasn’t seen alive after that.”
He added: “It’s a terrible situation. As a father myself, I think a lot of us would think about going back in.”
Reports said around 40 people were forced to evacuate the building.
The Red Cross was caring for 15 people displaced by the fire, said agency spokesperson Emily Cox.
Officials said the bodies of the victims were found in the bedrooms.
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“The fire was rapidly spreading, so [the firefighters] were confronted with immediate rescue needs, as well as keeping the fire contained to the building of origin,” said Hemet fire chief Scott Brown, Independent UK quoted CBS News.
“These buildings are old, they don’t have fire stops, fire spreads very quickly.”
An investigation into the incident is under way, though officials said there was no immediate evidence to suggest a crime was involved.
“The bottom line for us is that we’ve lost three people,” said Mr Brown. “It’s a terrible tragedy.” [Punch]
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