A Christmas morning nightmare took place on Saturday in a Pennsylvania town.

Eric King, 41, and two of his children — Liam, 11, and Patrick, 8 — died as a fire ripped through their home in Quakertown. The fire reportedly started around 1:20 a.m., according to the Bucks County Courier Times.

 

The man’s wife escaped along with the couple’s oldest son. Two dogs were also reportedly killed.

According to a GoFundMe page that was started for the surviving members of the family, the entire community has been impacted by the tragedy.

“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,” the page reads. “Their entire home was destroyed by the fire.”

The fundraising page continues, “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.”

According to the local police, the source of the fire was the family’s Christmas tree. “The evidence is very clear that it started in the Christmas tree,” Quakertown Police Chief Scott McElree said. “It was a real tree. A Christmas tree burns very quickly and very hot.”

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 continued, “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.”

The Facebook post also included a link to the GoFundMe page, which raised more than 600,000 for the mother and her surviving son.

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