Five kids die in house fire as devastated mum frantically tries to save them

A grim house fire left five young kids dead as their mum frantically searched through the flames to save them on her birthday.

The blaze broke out at around 3am on Friday in the East St Louis apartment, Illinois, America.

Sabrina Dunigan, 34, tragically lost all five of her children – who were aged between two and nine, reports The Sun.

The mum had popped out the house to pick someone up but raced back home in a desperate attempt to pull her family from the engulfing fire.

When firefighters arrived at the scene, two of the kids were already dead and three others were unconscious on the floor.

The grandparents of the children were also asleep in the apartment at the time.

They tried to run and pull the kids from the flames, but they were blocked by the huge fire and thick smoke and were forced to flee out a window.

Pals and family members held a vigil in remembrance on the same day of the fire.

"Sabrina cared for her kids. She loved those kids and we all loved those kids," Sheila Dunigan, the mother's aunt, told news outlet KSDK.

"Our family has never taken a hit like this, ever. We are devastated. We are broken.

"People are judging my niece. Please, don't judge her. Pray for her, that's all I'm asking right now," she said.

"I just want everybody to pray for my niece because this is a tragedy," said Etta McCray, a different aunt of the mother.

The family had only been in the apartment for five months, after they moved when their previous house also burnt down.

Sabrina blamed the previous burning on her abusive ex and told KSDK he had set fire to the last building.

"He was mad about another guy that I talk to. I don't understand because he's now talking to another woman," she said.

"We're just telling him he has to leave, and he said he was gonna set the house on fire."

Now, officials are trying to find exactly what triggered the blaze and say it started in the apartment’s front room.

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