Excerpts from the rrstar.com:

Three children died in a Rockford house fire in the 2600 block of Mulberry Street Saturday.

The fire department received the call at 3:40 a.m. The first engine arrived and had heavy fire throughout the home. Firefighters initiated a search on the second floor but had to turn back because of the severity of the fire.

During a secondary search of the second floor firefighters found the bodies of the children and a dog.

Five people – a mother, her three other children and an adult male relative – safely escaped from the home after smoke detectors awakened them, said Rockford Fire Division Chief Matt Knott. The three surviving children were treated for burns at local hospitals.

Winnebago County Coroner William Hintz said the three children who died, two boys and a girl, were younger than 18.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. “We believe it originated in the back of the house near the kitchen or dining room area,” Knott said.

Smoke detectors were installed in the home by members of the fire department, Knott said, after a small extinguished fire occurred in the home in October. The October fire was accidental and not believed to be related to this fire, he said.

“We believe that one of the smoke detectors we provided did alert the family,” Knott said.

thanks Scott