WARWICK (CBS/AP) — An early-morning blaze at a home in a rural northwestern Massachusetts town claimed the lives of one adult and four children, the State Fire Marshal’s office said Saturday afternoon.
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.
Two people were able to escape, and were taken to a local hospital. None of the victims’ identities have yet been released.
“There was nothing we could have done different unfortunately. When we got on scene, the house was totally engulfed,” Fire Chief Ronald Gates said.
The cause of the fire was not yet known, but officials said it appeared to be accidental in nature. A wood stove is being eyed as a possible cause.
At least 16 fire departments from the area helped battle the blaze.
Warwick is a town of just 800 people.
“The community has suffered a great loss of life, a huge blow to our spirit that we’re only beginning to realize,” Town Coordinator David Young said.
A school in the town will be open on Sunday from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. as grief counselors will be available.
The State Fire Marshal’s office said the total number of people killed by fire in Massachusetts this year now stands at 18.
(TM and © Copyright 2017 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)