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PA Firefighter Loses His Three Children in Fatal Fire at Overnight DayCare Center

08-13-2019
Erie Bureau of Fire Inspector investigates a fatal fire at 1248 West 11th St. in Erie, Pa, on Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019 (Greg Wohlford/Erie Times-News via AP)
Erie Bureau of Fire Inspector investigates a fatal fire at 1248 West 11th St. in Erie, Pa, on Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019 (Greg Wohlford/Erie Times-News via AP)

A community in Erie, Pennsylvania is coming together to support a volunteer firefighter who lost his three children in a daycare fire.

Luther Jones' two daughters and a son died after a blaze broke out in the early morning hours of Aug. 11. 

The children were staying at the Harris Family Daycare overnight while their parents were working. 

Around 1:00 am, Erie firefighters responded to a call of children who were trapped inside a burning house. 

Meanwhile, Jones and his Lawrence Park Volunteer Fire Department crew were en route to another call just blocks away from the blaze.

Erie News Now reports as many as eight people were trapped in the burning building. Firefighters rescued victims from the inferno, ranging in age from eight months to eight years old. The daycare owner, Elaine Harris, and two teenagers escaped the flames. 

Erie County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper issued a statement Sunday regarding the fire:

"Our hearts go out to the loved ones who lost someone in this terrible fire. Our thoughts are also with the first responders – the 911 call-takers, the EMTs, the firefighters, and the police officers. Erie is a tight-knit community in so many ways, and I know we will rally to support the families of all those involved. I ask my fellow citizens to join me in praying for those dealing with this horrible tragedy."

The Luther Jones Family Fund was set up at the Erie Northwest Bank. Donations will assist the family with funeral costs.

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