Pennsylvania Dad and Two Kids, Aged 11 and 8 Die as Christmas Tree Catches Fire at Home

The Christmas lights malfunctioned and caught fire which then quickly spread in the whole house that left three dead including two children.

Christmas celebrations took an unfortunate turn in a Pennsylvania home as three members of a family of five, including two children, died in a house fire early morning on Saturday, December 25. The horrifying incident took place in Eric and Kristin King's home in Quakertown. The Christmas tree lights in the house reportedly malfunctioned sometime in the night and caught fire, which spread quickly.

The entire house was set ablaze. According to the Bucks County Coroner, two of the children, Liam, 11, and Patrick, 8 along with their father Eric, 41, and their two dogs perished in the deadly fire. The mother, Kristin, however, escaped the fire alive with her eldest son, Brady, 13, from the rear of the house. The duo received treatment at the Lehigh Valley Hospital and was later released.

Officers noted that despite the firefighters' numerous, repetitive attempts to rescue the victims trapped inside the burning home, they couldn't be saved. At one point, the firefighters were even successful to get inside the home but had to retreat because of the intense flames. The Christmas tree that started the fire was located in the center of the front window of the house.

Eric and Kristin with their children
Eric and Kristin with their children GoFundMe

'Very intense fire'

Quakertown police reported that fire units rushed to Essex Court shortly before 1:30 am on Saturday and found half of a twin home ablaze. No fatalities, however, were reported from the other side of the twin home, which was also damaged. Quakertown's chief of police, Scott McElree told KYW-TV that the Christmas tree was ignited as a result of Christmas lights. An investigation into the incident is going on and further details are expected to come to light soon.

McElree noted that the fire was so intense that the source was almost totally burnt. "A Christmas tree burns very quickly and very hot. it's a violent and robust source. There is an immense amount of heat and that probably contributed," he said. The chief of police then added that the wooden stick-frame construction of the house likely helped spread the fire.

One half of the the twin home engulfed by fire
One half of the the twin home engulfed by fire Screen grab - CBS


The kids who died in the fire, Liam and Patrick both attended Richland Elementary School in the fifth and third grades. Their brother, 13-year-old Brady, who survived, is in eighth grade and attends Strayer Middle School. A state fire marshal, borough police, the fire department, and the coroner's office are investigating the incident further. Hours after the unfortunate tragedy, a GoFundMe page was set up to help Kristina and her son Brady which has raised more than $400,000 so far.