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By Jillian Sederholm and Ali Gostanian

A Southern California mother and three children were killed in a fire early Friday morning in what officials called a "Christmas tragedy."

Deputies responded to reports of a fire at a mobile home in Big Bear Lake at 5:45 a.m. local time (8:45 a.m. ET) Friday. The home was fully engulfed in flames by the time they arrived, the San Bernardino Sheriff's Department said in a statement.

An injured man outside the home told deputies a woman and three children were inside the home, but rescuers were unable to enter due to the flames, according to the sheriff's department.

Fire crews responded and attempted to reach the four people inside, but had to pull back under threat of a roof collapse.

They later discovered the bodies of the woman and children. The injured man was airlifted to the hospital for treatment.

The cause of the fire is not yet known.