Fire in Queens kills 5, three of them children

NEW YORK -- New York City fire marshals are beginning their investigation into what caused a house fire that killed five people, including three children.

Mayor Bill de Blasio   says "there's a lot we need to know about what happened here."

De Blasio says Sunday's blaze moved extremely quickly and the loss of lives was "horrendous."

The fire broke out on a sunny spring afternoon on a residential street in the middle-class Queens Village neighborhood. Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro says a passing driver saw fire on the home's first floor and saw someone tumble out a second-floor window. That man survived. Witnesses also reported hearing a series of loud booms.

Neighbor Denise Coleman told the Daily News of New York that people were screaming to get the children out. She said some of the children were limp and the smoke was overwhelming.

Nigro says that when firefighters arrived four minutes later, the home was completely engulfed. He says the victims ranged in age from 2 to about 21, plus one other adult.

Officials say the blaze was the deadliest fire in the nation's biggest city since March 2015, when a house fire in Brooklyn killed seven children, all siblings.