January 27, 2022

The Catholic Transcript

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The King family home was destroyed after a Christmas tree caught fire Photo: Reproducer / KYW via CNN

Father and two sons die after Christmas tree catches fire in the United States

QUAKERTOWN, USA – Eric King, 41, and his two children, Liam and Patrick, died after a fire at the family home in Quakertown, Pennsylvania, USA. The tragedy occurred in the early hours of Saturday morning and flames started in the pine tree that was decorating the house at Christmas. Two of the family’s dogs also failed to survive the accident. Eric’s wife Kristen and eldest son Brady survived.

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“The fire started in the Christmas tree. We are still not sure if it was the electricity or the possibility that the tree was too dry that caused the accident,” Fire Chief Doug Wilhelm told CNN.

The King family home was destroyed after a Christmas tree caught fire Photo: Reproducer / KYW via CNN

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Rescue teams arrived home around 1:22 a.m. Rescuers had to make several attempts to enter the house due to the scale of the fire. All five family members were sleeping on the second floor when the fire caught up.

“It was very dangerous to enter the front of the building with fire. The front door and front window were closed and the house was on fire at that point. It was very difficult for the firefighters to get in safely. It took a while,” Wilhelm said.

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In a statement, the Quakertown Community Schools Department described the situation as “devastating to the district community and the Quakertown area in general.”

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“Eric, Kristen and their kids have been very active in the community and the kind of people who have made this a special place to live. The School District sends its heartfelt condolences to the King family and many of their friends and relatives. Management is in the process of bringing it up..from the support hotline.”

One A virtual cat was created to help the family. The initial goal was to raise $20,000, but the total donations have already exceeded $400,000.