Five children from one Palestinian family died early yesterday morning after a fire swept through their home in the northern West Bank village of Qaffin. Four other family members, including the children's parents, sustained injuries related to smoke inhalation.
A preliminary investigation indicates that the fire was started by candles lit in a bedroom after a power failure.
The two girls - Aseel and Suheir - and three boys - Ahmad, Mahmoud and Mumen - were between the ages of 5 and 12.
"I don't know what happened, I woke up suddenly and saw people were trying to extinguish the fire," said Bassam Tawfiq Hirsha, the children's father. "I tried to save them but couldn't. I wanted to go in but I couldn't."
Firefighters and Red Crescent ambulances were sent to the scene, where paramedics pronounced the children dead.
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