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Three brothers killed in Herkimer fire

A photo of the three boys killed Friday in a fire (Photo provided by family).

Investigators say three young brothers were killed in a house fire in Herkimer Friday morning.

They have recovered the body of a one-year-old boy. His 6 and 7-year-old brothers' bodies were found and removed from the house Friday afternoon, according to Fire Chief John Spanfelner.

Crews say the fire started around 6 a.m. on East Steele Street.

"This got going and went right through the whole house fairly quickly," Chief Spanfelner said.

Chief Spanfelner said the family was sleeping on the first floor when the first started. The parents toward the front of the house. The boys were toward the middle and back.

He says the parents were woken up by the smoke detectors, and tried to get to the three children in the home but were unsuccessful. They exited the home, and then attempted to go back in, but again weren't able to reach them.

"The youngest was found where he was supposed to be in his bedroom," the chief said. "The other two tried making it through the back edition. One was found a little ways in, one was found farther back."

The family identified the boys to CNYCentral as Jackson, 1, Richie, 6, and Mike Jr., 7.

They want to thank the fire crews and Herkimer Salvation Army for food and donations.

An online fundraiser has been started for to help the family.

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Jennifer Bullis, who is an EMT in Oneida County, saw what happened and said she knew she had to do something to help.

"I picked up my daughter from school and we came down here and brought them some coffee," Bullis said.

Firefighters worked in bitter cold temperatures to put out the fire, and Chief Spanfelner says this kind of loss takes both a physical and mental toll.

"The adrenaline is still flowing so it’s probably one of those things that will probably hit later on when the quiet time comes."

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.


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