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A mum and her two children were killed in a house fire, with the dad who tried to save them now being treated for life-threatening injuries.
Gemma Germeney, 31, died in the blaze at her home in Cambridge while her son Oliver Peden, four, and daughter Lily Peden, eight, both died shortly after being taken to hospital.
Gemma's partner, Scott Peden, was also admitted to hospital with critical injuries, police have confirmed.
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Tributes have since poured in for the tragic family, with locals hailing "hero" dad Scott.
A neighbour who lived near the tragic family, Debbi, said: "Gemma loved her kids to bits, she was a devoted mum and she had a heart of gold.
"We heard that her partner Scott had tried to rescue them all when the fire broke out in the middle of the night.
"He was a hero, but he couldn’t save them. Our thoughts and prayers are with him."
About 30 firefighters from six different crews descended on the scene at around 1am on Friday (June 30).
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One witness said they woke up in the middle of the night to "screaming" before they realised what was happening.
A child from a nearby home was also rushed to hospital, but it is thought he suffered smoke inhalation and is not being treated for any major injuries.
The family's two dogs are also thought to have perished in the blaze.
Pictures posted to Facebook of the family of four show them posing together, with one showing Gemma and Scott cuddling up to the kids.
Another sees the brood dressed up smartly for Gemma's 30th birthday.
Issuing a statement in the wake of the incident, area commander Stuart Smith of Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service said: "It’s just heartbreaking.
"A fire like this is one of the toughest incidents you can attend as a firefighter."
The fire brigade confirmed investigations into the cause of the fire were ongoing.
A Cambridge City Council spokesperson said: “People will be shocked and distressed to hear about this incident in their local community and we are working to provide support to those people who have been directly affected, including the occupants of neighbouring properties.
"Our thoughts are with the victims, their loved ones and all of the people who have been affected."
An East of England Ambulance Service spokesperson added: "The ambulance service would like to extend its deepest sympathies to all those affected by this tragic incident."
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