4 children killed in Middle Tennessee house fire

SPRINGFIELD, Tenn. (AP) — Four children under the age of 10 were killed and another child and an adult were injured when a home in Middle Tennessee caught fire early Monday, a fire official said.

Springfield Fire Chief Jimmy Hamill said firefighters arrived within four minutes of getting the call at 3:34 a.m. to find heavy fire coming from the front of the house. Crews fought their way into the small home to search for survivors and knocked the blaze down quickly, but found four children, ages 4, 7, 8 and 9, dead near the back of the house.

Hamill says the children’s father and a female child were taken to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville. He said the father was in very critical condition. He didn’t have information on the child’s condition.

Hamill said the mother and two other children escaped unharmed.

He said the fire appears to be accidental. According to the preliminary investigation, officials think the blaze began in the living room of the home because that room that sustained the most damage. The rest of the house had heavy heat and smoke damage.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.