(ANSA) - LILLE, FEBRUARY 06 - Seven children aged between 2 and 14 died together with their mother yesterday evening in the fire of a house in Charly-sur-Marne, in northern France: the gendarmerie and the fire fighters.
The father was badly burned and was taken to the hospital.
The source of the fire appears to have been a malfunctioning dryer on the ground floor of the house.
Neighbors called the fire brigade to report the fire just before 1am.
The woman's husband was badly burned and was taken to hospital.
He was rescued by a firefighter who lives nearby and who intervened before his colleagues arrived.
It seems that the father tried to put out the fire while the children and the mother sought refuge from the flames on the second floor of the house, but this move turned out to be a trap, the prosecutor said.
As black smoke filled the house, firefighters had difficulty reaching the upper windows of the house, which is located on a narrow street in the center of the village of 2,600 inhabitants.
The electric shutters on the windows of the house were stuck due to a power outage, further hampering the rescue efforts.
80 firefighters were called to the scene and the fire was extinguished after several hours, local authorities said.
The tragedy is the most serious accident of its kind since 2013, when five children aged between two and nine died of asphyxiation in an accidental fire, also in northern France.