updated 11/24/2008 4:32:15 PM ET 2008-11-24T21:32:15

Three children, all under the age of 10, were killed when a fire swept through their house early Monday, fire officials said.

The children's parents escaped. Their father jumped off the porch roof of the two-story house and was trying to coax one of his children to do the same when the roof collapsed, fire Capt. Mike Washington said.

"When one of the battalion chiefs arrived in his car, he saw the girl on the roof of the porch," he said. "She was lost in the fire."

The family's names were not available, but fire officials said they believed the children's ages were 2, 5, and 9. Their father was taken to a hospital for treatment.

Two fire crews arrived at the house in Cincinnati's Lower Price Hill neighborhood around 2:30 a.m. about two minutes after a series of 911 phone calls, Washington said. More than 50 firefighters battled the blaze.

"We fought hard," Washington said. "It was an intense fire and it was a valiant effort on the firefighters' part."

The cause of the fire has not been determined.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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