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9 Die in Va., Calif. Fires

December 26, 1998

DALE CITY, Va. (AP) _ An early-morning town house fire killed six people Christmas morning _ including three children, authorities said.

In California, a blaze killed a father and two of his children when their home was engulfed Friday morning.

Dale City Volunteer Fire Chief Bob Hedge said the victims were 4, 9, 11, 17, 28 and 29 years old. Names were not immediately released.

A seventh person was flown to a Washington hospital for emergency treatment, Hedge said. He said two others in the town house were not seriously injured.

``This is the worst fire this county has seen in a long time ... maybe ever,″ he said.

Hedge said the blaze broke out at about 6:30 a.m. and fire trucks from at least five jurisdictions responded.

Investigators were combing through wreckage to determine the blaze’s cause, Hedge said.

No other information was immediately available.

Dale City is about 20 miles southwest of Washington.

Santa Clara Deputy Fire Chief Phil Kleinheinz said 7-old Amanda Hirsch, her 9-year-old brother Gregory and their father Todd, 34.

Investigators were trying to determine the cause of the fire, which destroyed the house and the family’s Christmas presents and charred neighboring homes.

Update hourly