A Memphis house that held a family of 10, including five kids, caught fire early Monday morning, killing nine people inside.
Four adults and five children died, and one child was reportedly fighting for life.
"I've never seen this amount of victims in one incident," Memphis Fire Department Spokesman Lt. Wayne Cooke said.
Memphis Fire Director Gina Sweat said it was the deadliest fire in the area since the 1920s.
You could feel the heavy in their hearts and you could see the pain in their eyes. Nothing... can truly prepare us for this heartbreaking event.
Cooke said firefighters arrived at about 1:30 a.m. and took 15 minutes to put the fire out.
The fire reportedly started in the living room and only burned about one-fifth of the home, but the blaze created heavy smoke.
Barred windows may have prevented victims' escape, Sweat said.
The cause is still a mystery
The cause of the fire remains under investigation. A smoke detector was found, but it's not clear if it was in working condition when the fire started.
Our whole city is in mourning. I ask Memphians to take some time to pray for the family, to give them strength.— Mayor Jim Strickland (@MayorMemphis) September 12, 2016
Memphis's mayor Jim Strickland said he was "shocked" by the fire.
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.