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7 Kids Dead in Farmhouse Fire

Three-year-old the lone survivor
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 9, 2011 10:08 AM CST

(Newser) – A fire roared through a rural Pennsylvania farmhouse last night, taking with it the lives of seven of the family's eight children, ages nine months to 11, reports the Patriot-News. As mother Janelle Clouse milked cows in the barn around 10pm and father Ted drove a milk truck, 3-year-old Leah smelled smoke and ran to tell her mother. The house was fully engulfed by the time firefighters arrived; the coroner ruled that all seven children died of smoke inhalation.

Leah was the only survivor. "All but one were gone," her grandfather—who believes the family's propane heating system may be to blame—tells the newspaper. The neighbor who finally called 911 said her son was close friends with the eldest Clouse daughter. "He played with her every day," she tells the AP. "I don't know how I'm going to handle this." (Read more family farm stories.)

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