A family from a small town in Pennsylvania has been left with unimaginable grief after a Christmas morning fire that claimed the lives of a father and two of his children.
According to tragic reports, 41-year-old Eric King and his two sons, Patrick, 8, and Liam, 11, were the victims of a fire that tore through their home in Quakertown in the early morning of December 25.
The Bucks County Courier Times say the blaze started at around 1:20 a.m. Eric’s wife, Kristin, was able to escape the family home with the couple’s oldest son.
Quakertown Police Chief Scott McElree revealed that the cause of the fire was the family of five’s Christmas tree.
“The evidence is very clear that it started in the Christmas tree,” McElree said. “It was a real tree. A Christmas tree burns very quickly and very hot.”
Kristin was able to get out of the home with the couple’s eldest son, Brady. Sadly, though, Eric, his two sons, and the family’s dogs all succumbed to the fire.
A GoFundMe page started to raise money for the surviving members of the family. At the time of writing it has raised over $600,000.
The page reads:
“In the early hours of Christmas morning Eric and Kristin King’s home caught fire. Brady, their oldest son and Kristin made it out, but Eric, Liam, Patrick, and their two dogs did not. Their entire home was destroyed by the fire.
Eric and Kristin were high school sweethearts and the happiest people you will have ever met. They were always smiling and full of positive spirits, you just couldn’t help but to love them. The three boys, Eric and Kristin were all a huge part of the Quakertown Youth Baseball Association and spent their days and nights at the baseball fields.The Quakertown community will be deeply impacted by this great loss. Please help Brady and Kristin feel the love and support of the community as they deal with healing from this horrific tragedy.“
Meanwhile, the local school district posted about the tragedy on its Facebook page, writing: “Dear Quakertown School District Community families. It is with unbearable sorrow that we share with you this Christmas morning the tragic news that the King family, in a house fire early today, lost their father and two Richland Elementary School students, Liam, a fifth-grader, and Patrick, a third-grader. Mom and Brady, an eighth-grader at Strayer Middle School, thankfully survived.”
The post added: “This news is devastating for the District community and the Quakertown area at large. Eric, Kristin, and their boys are very active in the community, and the kind of people who make this a special place to live and attend school. The School District sends its heartfelt sympathy to the King family and their many friends and relatives. The Administration is in the process of setting up a hotline of supports.”
Our hearts go out to all the loved ones of this family. We simply cannot imagine the sense of loss that they’re trying to deal with now.
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Rest in peace, Eric, Patrick and Liam.