SIOUX FALLS, SD -
Three children are dead and two adults are hospitalized after a fire tore through their home in Sioux Falls.
Authorities say the fire took the lives of Michael Hensely, 16, Savannah Coon, 12 and Alivia Coon, 6.
Flames were ripping out the side of a two story home and all that's left are only charred remains.
"This is going to turn into a tragic event for us," Sioux Falls Fire Chief Jim Sideras said.
It all happened at 1100 North Main around 8 a.m. Saturday morning.
Sideras said firefighters fought to get into the home to rescue three children, but were stopped due to the high heat coming from the blaze.
"It does weigh heavy on our firefighters. You see our firefighters and you have to realize that they are the ones that are really trying to get into these situations and save people and sometimes they can't do it. And it's tough," Sideras said
According to authorities, two adults were outside of the home when crews arrived. They were transported to the hospital.
Three children were found later in the home, according to Sideras, they were on the second story.
Neighbors said the family just moved into the neighborhood.
"They have a swing set back there, I didn't know how old they were because I didn't get to see the kids much," neighbor Tammy Thomas said.
Thomas only lives four houses down from the fire, she said she saw the flames and the couple outside before help arrived.
"I know they were breathing, cause you seen the smoke from their faces like they were breathing," Thomas said.
Fire and Rescues crews, paramedics and police officers from across Sioux Falls were on scene for several hours. Neighbors say the family that lived directly beside the home were the only ones evacuated.
And with the holiday season here, neighbors say this is a tough time.
"With having kids and being this close to Christmas, yeah it's terrible," Thomas said.
Authorities are still investigating on how the fire began. Fire Officials tell KELOLAND the fire chaplain and employee assistance are available to help the firefighters who worked this scene.
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