Five people — a grandmother, three grandchildren and the children's mother — were killed early Tuesday in a horrific house fire in New Orleans, firefighters told NBC affiliate WDSU.
The blaze broke out around 12 a.m. Tuesday in the city's Broadmoor neighborhood, a working-class area slammed by flooding from Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Fire Chief Timothy McConnell told The Associated Press that the children’s father, Derrick Anderson, attempted to re-enter the corner-lot house to rescue the family, but the raging flames blocked his way. Firefighters said Anderson, who was not injured, identified himself as the mother’s boyfriend and said the two-story home did not have smoke detectors.
Officials identified the victims as Martha Anderson, 77, and her grandchildren — Jade Anderson, 12; Jason Anderson, 11; and Jayla Anderson, 7, according to the AP. The mother was identified as Christina Squire, 33.
Firefighters said the cause of the blaze did not appear to be of suspicious origin, but investigators will take a close look, according to the AP.