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Fire Kills Father, Two Children In Converted Sylmar Barn [UPDATED]

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A father and two children were killed when a fire broke out in a former barn that was converted into a house in Sylmar.

The fire was first reported at 4:37 a.m. on the 13700 block of Eldridge Avenue, ABC 7 reports. The fire was sparked in a storage area on the second floor and spread down to the first floor, where the family lived. Firefighters who responded to the blaze battled fierce winds, but eventually put out the fire within 25 minutes.

The bodies of the thee family members—a father, a 12-year-old girl and an 8-year-old boy—were found huddled together in the burned-out building. The mother was sent to a hospital, where she is in critical condition.

The structure was a barn that was converted into apartments, NBC reports. According to a LAFD blog post by spokesperson Brian Humphrey, the structure was not equipped with smoke detectors and the Department of Building and Safety is trying to determine if the structure complied with building codes.

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"If this family had had an escape plan, the chances of survival with the combination of smoke alarms would have been so much greater," Capt. Jamie Moore of the LAFD told reporters at the scene.

UPDATE 5 P.M.: ABC 7 is reporting that the mother, who was initially listed in critical condition, died of her injuries at a nearby hospital.