A family in Pennsylvania found themselves lacking any cheer on Christmas as a blaze that began with faulty Christmas lights in their Yuletide tree killed three members of their family on Saturday, Christmas Day.

Forty-one-year-old Eric King and two of his children, 11-year-old Liam and 8-year-old Patrick, were killed after the Christmas tree in their living room caught on fire, the blaze reportedly caused by defective light decorations that adorned the conifer, though police are still investigating further to find out more about the situation, according to the Bucks County Courier Times.

“We will be continuing to investigate to find out why it ignited, but the evidence is very clear that it started in the Christmas tree,” Quakertown Police Chief Scott McElree said. “A Christmas tree burns very quickly and [is] very hot. When trees go dry, [it’s] a violent and robust source.”

King’s wife, Kristin, and their 13-year-old son Brady were able to escape before the fire consumed their home. The blaze also burned down the twin house next door, but the family in that residence was able to escape without casualties, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

“From what we were told, Liam had woken up Brady and Kristin and told them to get out of the house,” Colleen Nimnaugh, King’s sister, said about the incident. “Then, he and Eric and Patrick couldn’t make it out.”

The Kings’ two dogs were also killed by the blaze.

A GoFundMe for the King family has received over $350,000 by Christmas night, with many praising the husband as kind-hearted people who took the time to volunteer in the community as a coach for the Quakertown Youth Baseball Association, the New York Post reported.

“He made so many sacrifices for the kids he coached and for his own family,” Mike Harris, King’s fellow coach, said. “Knowing him and the kind of guy he was, I know he would have never not tried to save his family. He never would have left that dwelling while that situation was ongoing.”

A fire on Christmas morning in Pennsylvania caused by an ignited Christmas tree burned down two houses and killed Eric King and his two sons, though his wife and eldest son survived. This is a representational image. Jen Theodore/Unsplash.

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