NEW YORK, NY -- Fire tore through a Brooklyn residence early Saturday, killing seven children and leaving two other people in critical condition, authorities said.
The dead are children ranging in age from 5 to 15 years old, and they are believed to be family members, New York Fire Department spokesman Jim Long said.
Firefighters received a call at 12:23 a.m. about the blaze at a private dwelling in Midwood, a leafy section of Brooklyn known for its low crime and large Orthodox Jewish population. Long said more than 100 firefighters responded to the blaze and brought the fire under control.
There was no immediate word on the cause. Long says it is being investigated by the city fire marshal's office.
Fire officials had no other immediate details, but the New York Post reported the blaze occurred in a brick home.
The newspaper said that as firefighters worked to put out the fire, paramedics struggled to help the victims.
Neighbor Nate Weber told the paper that he saw children being wheeled away on stretchers.
"I turned away. I didn't even want to look," he said.
Weber said he heard the children's mother yelling for help.
"I heard a woman yelling: 'My kids are in there. Get them out. Get them out!'" he told the Post.