A mother and her six children, including a one-year-old baby, died during a house fire early Saturday morning in Clinton, Mississippi.
The father escaped but was injured, officials said.
The fatal blaze tore through the home, about 11 miles from the state capital, Jackson, at about 12.30am, Clinton deputy fire chief John Alman said. Officials have not released the victims’ names. The oldest victim was 33, officials said.
Authorities are working to determine what caused the fire, but there was no suspicion of foul play, according to Alman. “It’s terrible,” he said. “It’s terrible.”
The father was hospitalized for his injuries, which include smoke inhalation and burns. His condition remains unclear, officials said.
Mark Jones, the city’s director of communications, said the father was able to remain at the scene until firefighters brought out his wife and children.
Jones, whose wife taught one of the children, said that he understood them to be a “precious family”. He said: “The father worked very hard, very hard to support his family. The kids were some of the most polite kids I’ve ever watched.”
Jones explained they “worked alongside their dad during the summer”. He said: “We’re praying for the family. We’re praying for the family right now.”