Firefighter (stock image)
Firefighter (stock image)iStock

The deadly fire which claimed the lives of three children in southern Israel Thursday was likely sparked by the children as they played with matches, investigators say.

According to the initial investigation, it appears that the blaze sparked at the home of a Bedouin family in the town of Hura in southern Israel on Thursday was started as a result of children playing with matches and accidentally setting a sofa on fire.

Three children, ages 1, 3, and 4, suffered serious smoke inhalation during the fire and were evacuated to Soroka Medical Center in Be’er Sheva. After their arrival, however, doctors were forced to declare the three children dead.

While it was first believed that the fire was sparked outside of the family’s residence, it now appears that the fire was started in the living room.

The victims include two sisters and a brother.

Channel 13 reported Thursday evening that the children’s mother saw the living room on fire, but was unable to rescue her children from the blaze.

“This is a terrible, heavy tragedy,” a relative told Channel 13.