VILLAGE OF HERKIMER — Three young brothers — including a 1-year-old — were killed in an early morning house fire in Herkimer County on Friday.
The identities of the boys have not been released. A fundraiser set up at GoFundMe.com has already raised more than $15,000 for the family.
Fire officials said the two parents were awoken by smoke detectors before 6 a.m., but they were unable to reach the three boys in the two-story home at 244 E. Steele St. Authorities said the parents went out the front of the residence and tried to get back inside, but were again unable to get through the heat, smoke and flames.
The boys are ages 1, 6 and 7. Their remains were recovered inside the home. Authorities said all five residents were asleep on the first floor when the fire spread through the home.
“There was a very heavy fire load,” Herkimer Fire Chief John Spanfelner told local media. The fire “went through the whole house very quickly.”
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
Authorities said the parents were treated at the scene.
Firefighters battling the blaze in frigid temperatures had to rotate shifts to stay warm. Fire crews remained on the scene for hours putting out the smoking debris.
The Herkimer, Ilion and Little Falls fire departments responded to the scene. The East Herkimer department was held on standby.
The state Office of Fire Prevention and Control is assisting with the investigation.
The fire occurred less than a year after three other young children were killed in a different fire at the Pine Haven Mobile Home Park in Rome. Eliesse Croad, age 4, Patrick Croad III, age 3, and Temprince Croad, age 2, died on July 23.