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In this Saturday, Aug. 15, 2015 photo, a firefighter with Fire Department of New York Engine 69/Ladder 28, the "Harlem Hilton", rushes to the firetruck after receiving a call during an FDNY block party in the Harlem neighborhood of New York. At 150 years old, the nation?s largest fire department is undergoing a massive shift in hiring and recruitment after a court ordered changes to diversity the almost all-white, all-male department. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

3 children were among the 5 victims of a fast-moving New York City house fire


Five people, including three children, were killed Sunday in a fast-moving house fire in New York City that's left authorities searching for clues about what sparked the flames. 

The four-alarm fire broke out at a two-story home in the Queens Village neighborhood just after 2:30 p.m. Most of the blaze was extinguished by 4 p.m., according to the Fire Department of New York. 

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said on social media that this was the biggest loss of life from a fire in the city in roughly two years.

There's a lot we need to know about what happened here.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio

"This is a devastation of a family," de Blasio said.  He added that the fire "moved very, very quickly, and the loss was horrendous." 

Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said the victims range in age from 2 to 21. One of the victims was somewhat older, according to fire officials.

Witnesses said they saw a middle-aged man tumble from a two-story window as the fire ripped through the home. Nigro said the man survived after falling onto the roof of the porch and then the lawn. 

Firefighters struggled to reach some of the victims who were in the home's attic. 

At this point, firefighters have not said what they think may have started the blaze. Nigro, however, said there appeared to be no explosion despite the fact that witnesses reported hearing loud booms.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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