A total of nine people — six children and three adults — have been killed in a devastating house fire in Tennessee Monday.
Firefighters arrived to the house at about 1:30 a.m. and encountered heavy smoke upon entering the house. Four adults and three children were found dead in the home, and two other children died later in the hospital, according to multiple reports. Another child remains in critical condition.
"Our whole city is in mourning for the loss of much of one family," Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland posted to Twitter. "It's a very sad day."
The adults who perished in the fire were identified as Carol Collier, Eloise Futrell, and LaKisha Ward. The children were reportedly between the ages of 3 and 16.
The fire is said to be the deadliest in the city since the 1920s and started when an electrical cord malfunctioned in the living room, according to multiple reports.
According to NBC News, Bars on the windows may have prevented some of the victims from escaping.
The West Memphis Fire Department took to their page to express their sadness to their firefighter brethren about the loss:
“Prayers are going out today for our Brothers and Sisters at the Memphis Fire Department as they deal with the loss of nine people including 6 kids from a residential fire they responded to early this morning,” they wrote. “ It's a very rewarding job to be a firefighter until you have a fire like this, then it becomes a very stressful job and it takes a toll on your mind and soul."
The grandfather of the child victims, Ernest Jett, told ABC News that the tragedy is "unbelievable" and that the family is "upset.”
"You know, all of a sudden ... I lost eight grandchildren -- all of them on the same day," Jett said. "It’s really hard, I promise you."