Mother And Four Children Killed In Warwick Fire

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Mother And Four Children Killed In Warwick Fire

A woman and her four children were killed when a massive fire ripped through their home in northwestern MA early Saturday morning.

Fire officials have not identified the victims or survivors.

Warwick, with a population of about 800, is located in Franklin County and shares a border with New Hampshire.

The fire began around 12:45 a.m. Saturday at the home on Richmond Road in Warwick, a town that had fewer than 100 residents at the time of the 2010 U.S. Census. That includes three victims from a fatal Holyoke fire in January.

"When we got on scene, the house was totally involved", Gates said. Two occupants of the house escaped.

According to published reports, two other members of the household - a father and child - escaped with minor injuries.

Gates said there are no fire hydrants on Richmond Road.

An emotional town fire chief Ron Gates said at an afternoon news conference that the house was fully engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived and there was little they could do to prevent the tragedy.

Crews were also hampered by bitter cold temperatures that caused equipment to freeze and made it hard for firefighters to keep their footing.

Firefighters from 16 communities fought the blaze and brought the fire under control by 9 a.m., Mieth said.

Town Coordinator David Young said the wood-frame building was completely destroyed.

"They were able to get out one way, but the rest of the family was not able to get out", said Jennifer Mieth, spokeswoman for the State Fire Marshal's Office.

"Our community has suffered a great loss of life, a huge blow to our spirit that we are only beginning to realize", Young said.

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