The first conclusions of the expert sent by the Public Prosecution to the scene indicate that a fire occurred while the family was sleeping.
A spokesman for the Liège Public Prosecutor’s Office told AFP that the fire broke out near a sofa, releasing toxic fumes that killed the residents of the house.
According to the expert, the fire could have been caused by an electrical short circuit, a candle, or a poorly extinguished cigarette.
Opening the window created a draft that accelerated the fire.
Firefighters, who were alerted shortly after midnight, quickly arrived at the scene, but were unable to enter the house, as the facade of the three-story building was completely engulfed in flames, according to Captain Christophe Jadot.
Reinforcements had to be called to retrieve the bodies from under the rubble, and the fire captain explained that the house did not have a smoke detector.
The children, four girls between the ages of 5 and 14 according to Belgian media, were all in school and the family was “participating in the social life” of the municipality, according to Mayor Eric Dussonne, who was interviewed by Agence France-Presse. He added: “I am devastated. A number of casualties like this in a fire is something I have not seen here in 30 years.”
The drama shook the Belgian city located between Namur and Liège in the east of the country.
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