As dawn broke and a slight lightening came across the night sky, Petersburg's Bravest, weary from an intense battle with a two-alarm fire, sifted through the charred skeleton of the home located at 454 Harrison Street.
Fire officials have confirmed three children are dead
The first-alarm call came crashing into the sleep of the firefighters at 0223 hours.
Petersburg's Bravest shifted into high gear and roared to the scene to find heavy fire and heavy smoke with reports of people trapped.
Petersburg Stations 2,3,4,5 initially responded.
"Firefighters at Market street came out of their door," said Petersburg Chief Ford, "and saw there was a fire from quarters. They responded to the scene and almost immediately called for a second alarm."
Crews from Fort Lee and Colonial Heights responded for assistance and Chesterfield Fire and EMS dispatched Ettrick Truck 12 and Engine 12 for fill in at Market Street Station. Namozine from Dinwiddie also provided fill-in.
Chief Ford said the intense fire conditions were a challenge and spread to an exposure on Bravo side of the engulfed structure. Fire was fully engaged on A-side of the main structure.
Master streams pounded the unforgiving fire.
"The family said 10 occupants were in the residence. Chief Ford explained, "seven were removed and transported to Southside Regional Hospital. Some patients were then transported to VCU Medical Center."
Unaccounted for, the Chief continued, are three youth ages 6, 10 or 11 and a 15-16 year old.
More details will be made available as they are released.