updated 4/10/2007 2:20:46 PM ET 2007-04-10T18:20:46

A man and three children were found dead early Tuesday after fire swept through their apartment building, and several other children were treated for injuries, firefighters said.

The bodies of a 40-year-old man, an 8-year-old girl, and two boys ages 5 and 6 were all found inside a burned-out apartment, the Fire Department said.

The fire on the city’s north side was reported shortly before 3 a.m. By the time firefighters arrived, the two-story, wood-frame building was in flames, officials said.

It took about an hour to extinguish the blaze, the Fire Department reported.

Investigators had not determined the cause of the fire or whether the apartments had working smoke detectors.

Resident Jeremy Ballard said he heard sirens and saw flashing lights and went outside, thinking there had been a traffic accidents. When he saw the flames, Ballard said, he ran back into his apartment to get his daughters out.

Several apartments were severely damaged and the Red Cross was helping displaced residents obtain clothing and shelter, Lt. Keith Staples said.

Authorities said eight people — five of them children — were treated for smoke inhalation and minor burns.

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