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Mother And 3 Children Killed In California Fire On Christmas Morning

An 8-year-old girl, 3-year-old boy, and 6-month-old girl died in the fire.

Posted on December 26, 2015, at 1:46 a.m. ET

A mother and three children died in a Southern California mobile home fire early Christmas morning, officials said.

Neighbors called 911 before 6 a.m. Friday when they saw the Big Bear Lake home up in flames, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.

Neighbor says mother, 3 kids killed in Big Bear Lake fire; father hospitalized

The first deputy to arrive saw a man outside the burning home saying his family was inside, according to The Associated Press. He was later taken to a hospital for injuries.

"He sees the whole side of his trailer on fire and he calls to his wife to get the kids out," San Bernardino Sheriff's Capt. Kevin Lacy told the AP. "Before she can get out and before he can get back in to help, the mobile home becomes fully engulfed."

Local affiliate KTLA reported the man at one point tried to put out the flames with a garden hose.

Firefighters found four people dead inside the house, sheriff's officials said in a statement. They were identified as a 34-year-old woman, an 8-year-old girl, a 3-year-old boy, and a 6-month-old girl. Their names were not immediately released.

Lacy called the deadly fire a "Christmas tragedy."

Christmas tragedy: Coroner investigating 4 fatalities in Big Bear Lake mobile home fire. IDs are pending. Press release 2follow this pm.

"This is a horrible thing on Christmas Day," Lacy told the AP. "Especially when you find out there's a baby involved, it really tugs at your heart strings."

The cause of the fire was not immediately clear.