Death – Pennsylvania man Eric King, two sons dead after Christmas tree catches on fire

Death – Obituary

A Pennsylvania father and two of his sons were killed in a Christmas morning fire that was believed to have been started by lights on the family’s Christmas tree.

Eric King, 41, and children Liam, 11, and Patrick, 8, died when the fast-moving blaze tore through their Quakertown home around 1:20 a.m., according to the Bucks County Courier Times. Two dogs were also reportedly killed. The wife and mother of the victims escaped with her oldest son, the article said.

“The evidence is very clear that it started in the Christmas tree. It was a real tree,” Quakertown Police Chief Scott McElree told the newspaper. “A Christmas tree burns very quickly and very hot.”

The fire destroyed the Kings’ home as well as the twin house attached to it, according to the article. The family next door was reportedly able to escape unharmed.

House fire
The fire destroyed the family’s home as well as the twin house attached to it, as the family next door was able to escape unharmed.
CBS Philly/KYW-TV

More than $350,000 had been donated in less than a day for the family, who was very active in the town’s youth baseball program, according to an online fundraiser.

“Eric and Kristin were high school sweethearts and the happiest people you will have ever met,” organizer Kristin Randazzo wrote.

“They were always smiling and full of positive spirits, you just couldn’t help but to love them. The three boys, Eric and Kristin were all a huge part of the Quakertown Youth Baseball Association and spent their days and nights at the baseball fields.”

The father Eric King, Liam (right), and Patrick (left)
Eric King, Liam (right), and Patrick (left) — along with the rest of the family — were described as very active in the town’s youth baseball program and made the area a special place to live.
CBS Philly/KYW-TV

The Quakertown school district said the Kings are “the kind of people who make this a special place to live and attend school” in a statement posted to Facebook Saturday.

“It’s horrendous,” McElree reportedly said. “This impacts us all. This impacts our community, our families in general, the kids in the schools and the people who know the King family. We’re partners in this and we and the school district will do what we can to support everyone.”

House fire
The father and two sons died when the fast-moving fire tore through their house at around 1:20 a.m, ultimately destroying the residence.
CBS Philly/KYW-TV

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What Is An Obituary

In national newspapers an obituary (obit for short) is a news article that reports the recent death of a prominent person. Although it tends to focus on positive aspects of the subject’s life this is not always the case. According to Nigel Farndale, the Obituaries Editor of The Times: “Obits should be life affirming rather than gloomy, but they should also be opinionated, leaving the reader with a strong sense of whether the subject lived a good life or bad; whether they were right or wrong in the handling of their public affairs.”

In local newspapers, an obituary may be published for any local resident upon death. A necrology is a register or list of records of the deaths of people related to a particular organization, group or field, which may only contain the sparsest details, or small obituaries. Historical necrologies can be important sources of information.