Eric King Quakertown Pennsylvania father and two sons killed by Christmas tree fire as officials say smoke detectors at the family home failed to work.
Eric King, 41, and the father’s two children, Liam, 11, and Patrick, 8, died when the sudden blaze tore through their Quakertown home around 1:20 a.m., according to the Bucks County Courier Times. Two dogs were also killed. The man’s wife and mother of the victims escaped with her oldest son, police stated, incurring only minor burns.
‘The evidence is very clear that it started in the Christmas tree. It was a real tree,’ Quakertown Police Chief Scott McElree told the Courier Times. ‘A Christmas tree burns very quickly and very hot.’
Of disconcert, a report via PennLive cited fire officials who said smoke detectors in the home were not working at the time of the blaze. It remained unclear when the smoke detectors were last checked and who bore responsibility for their functioning.
The fire along with destroying the Kings’ home also destroyed the twin house attached to it. The family next door was reportedly able to escape unharmed.
High school sweethearts
A fundraiser started on Saturday had by Sunday raised $507,505 for the family, who were very active in the town’s youth baseball program, according to an online page.
‘Eric and Kristin were high school sweethearts and the happiest people you will have ever met,’ organizer Kristin Randazzo wrote.
‘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 school district said the Kings are ‘the kind of people who make this a special place to live and attend school’ in a statement posted to Facebook Saturday.
‘It’s horrendous,’ McElree reportedly said. ‘This impacts us all. This impacts our community, our families in general, the kids in the schools and the people who know the King family. We’re partners in this and we and the school district will do what we can to support everyone.’