Mum and 7 kids killed in house fire 'sparked by faulty tumble dryer turned on at night when electricity was cheaper' | The Sun

A MOTHER and her seven children horrifically died in a house fire after a faulty tumble dryer ignited during the night, investigators believe.

The family were killed in the blaze that erupted shortly after midnight at their townhouse in Charly-sur-Marne, 50 miles east of Paris.

Nearly 80 firefighters battled to douse the blaze as the mum and her kids were trapped on the upper floor.

Rescuers are said to have struggled to get their ladders to reach the top windows of the home on the narrow street.

Fire chief Jean-Claude Ouguel said: "The house was completely destroyed. Only the side walls remain."

The sole survivor of the tragic incident is the woman's husband and father of three of the children, who suffered severe burns.

Police fear he unknowingly sealed the brood's fate by telling them to stay upstairs while he went to investigate the smoke.

The property's electric window shutters were also blocked due to a power outage, leaving them with no where to escape from the fumes.

The children – five girls and two boys aged between two and 14 – died from asphyxiation, local prosecutor Julien Morino-Ros said.

He revealed that the deadly fire appeared to have been caused by a faulty tumble dryer situated on the ground floor.

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There was no initial information about the type of tumble dryer involved, or its manufacturer or service history.

It is thought that the family may have put the appliance on in the early hours of the morning, when electricity costs are cheaper.

Mr Morino-Ros confirmed that – in line with judicial procedure in such cases – a criminal enquiry had been opened for manslaughter.

Sylvie Corré, the wife of the owner of the rented property, said of the tragedy: "I hope with all my heart that those who died did not feel any pain, or see anything.

"We were there in the street all night and watched the horror."

She explained that the father worked for her family's champagne firm, describing him as an "excellent employee."

Slyvi said the couple were in their 40s and – along with their children – were very popular in the area.

The father spent a night in hospital, and his condition later on Monday was described as "stable and not life-threatening."

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The official cause of the fire has not yet been determined, however, the French Public Prosecution Service has launched an investigation. 

The fatal inferno, which also damaged neighbouring properties, was eventually extinguished after several hours.

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