Three children confirmed dead after early-morning fire in Killeen

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KILLEEN, Texas Three children are confirmed dead after an early-morning house fire in Killeen.

(Left to right) Chastity Armstrong, 6, Khalia Armstrong, 5, and Tristan Armstrong, 3. (Courtesy photo)

A family member identified the three girls as Chastity Armstrong, 6, Khalia Armstrong, 5, and Tristan Armstrong, 3.

Autopsies were ordered.

A man and a woman were able to escape from the burning house.

The woman, whom a relative identified as the mother of the children, Audrey Armstrong, was taken to a local hospital.

The man, whom The Associated Press identified as Cory Harrington, was treated for smoke inhalation at the scene.

Harrington said he lived in the house with his nephew and his nephew's fiancee.

His nephew wasn't home at the time of the fire, he said.

The fire at Jason Cove and Anna Lee Drive was reported at around 3:30 a.m. Friday.

When the first crews arrived on scene flames were coming out of the roof of the one-story home.

Firefighters attacked the flames from the outside and were checking for hotspots before entering the house.

Mechelle Snider, who lives next door, described waking up to a banging on her door.

She found the mother of the three children, covered in blood and asking for help to rescue her children.

Snider went on to say the mother jumped out of a window to escape and was taken to Metroplex Hospital in Killeen with non-life threatening injuries.

Snider, a veteran, says she ran to the back of the house where the children were sleeping to try to rescue them, but was unsuccessful.

"We tried to get the babies, but we couldn’t," she said.

Bell County Justice of the Peace Bill Cooke was on the scene but was told to return later once it was safe for him to go in.

The blaze was the second deadly fire in three days in Bell County.

On Wednesday, fire raced through a home in Nolanville, claiming the lives of Sherry Hines, 85, her daughter Denise Hines, 46, and her granddaughter Skylar Hines-Little, 19.