Vigil held for Quakertown, Pa. family killed in Christmas morning blaze

The fire claimed the life of Eric King, his sons, Liam and Patrick, and their two dogs.
QUAKERTOWN, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Thousands gathered on Wednesday night to remember three members of a Bucks County family who were killed in a Christmas morning house fire.

The fire ripped through a two-story home on Essex Court in Quakertown during the early morning hours of Saturday, December 25, 2021.

Eric King, 40, his sons, Liam, 11, and Patrick, 8, and their two dogs perished in the fire.

Friends and family filled the Univest Performance Center for an evening vigil to show their support for the family.

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"It is with unbearable sorrow that I share with you this Christmas Day the tragic news that the King family, in a house fire early today, lost their father and two children," the Quakertown Community School District superintendent said.



"Just amazing people. They'd do anything for everybody, and now the community is just showing it back for them," said Loretta Kennedy, a family friend.

Quakertown Police Chief Scott McElree said early indications are that the fire started in the family's Christmas tree.

Eric's wife, Kristin, and their oldest son, Brady, managed to escape before the fire destroyed their entire home, officials said.

During the vigil, some family members shared their memories.

"My brother Eric had a heart of gold, a smile that lit the darkest room, and a hug that you felt in your soul," said Sarah Thiel, the sister of Eric King.

Cayden Celrne, who was a baseball teammate of Liam, got emotional remembering his friend.

"It's hard to think about him not being here," said Celrne.

Grief counselors were made available on-site at the vigil as many are still trying to process the unthinkable loss.

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