STAMFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) – Five people have died in a house fire Christmas morning.
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Mayor Michael Pavia said three children and two adults were killed in the three-alarm blaze. The children were all female, the oldest was 10-years-old, the younger children were a pair of 7-year-old twins. The two adults were the girls’ grandparents.
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The fire broke out at 2267 Shippan Avenue just before 5 a.m. So far, it’s not clear what sparked the deadly blaze.
“It’s a terrible, terrible day for the city of Stamford,” Pavia said. “There probably has not been a worse Christmas day in the city of Stamford.”
The blaze was captured on a neighbor’s cell phone video camera. Watch the video below.
The house that caught fire was reportedly in the middle of being renovated.
Acting fire chief Antonio Conte said responders were pushed back by the intense flames and heat.
“There was so much heat and so much flame that it drove the firefighters back, they tried several times but we just couldn’t get to them,” said Conte.
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A neighbor, Sam Cingari Jr., said he was awakened by the sound of screaming and that the house was entirely engulfed by flames.
“We heard this screaming at 5 in the morning,” he said. “The whole house was ablaze and I mean ablaze.”
CBS2’s Ann Mercogliano was in Stamford, where in spite of repeated attempts by firefighters to reach the people inside, only two people managed to escape the blaze. One of the survivors was Madonna Badger, the girls’ mother, the other has only been identified as a ‘male acquaintance’ of Badger’s, according to the Stamford Police Department.
Badger and the male survivor were taken to the hospital and are in stable condition.
It is believed that everybody in the house was sleeping when the fire broke out.
Officials said that the damage to the house was so bad that it will take several days to determine the cause of the fire.
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