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Six kids escape blaze that kills three generations of Florida family's women

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Courtesy NBC News

By Alexander Smith, NBC News contributor

Six children escaped a house blaze that killed four female family members on New Year's Day, officials said.

The kids, who were aged nine and under, were woken up by smoke detectors at the property in Marianna, Fla., on Wednesday.

Marianna Fire engineer Aaron Calloway told NBC News on Thursday that it appeared that three of the women who died were asleep. Another body was found on the home's porch, Calloway said.  

The victims were described as a mother, two grandmothers and a great-grandmother. They were aged between 40 and 90 years old.

The fire started just before 8 a.m. ET on Wednesday. 

NBC station WJHG reported that the six children who escaped were aged 5, 6, 7, and 9-year-old twins.

Marianna Fire Chief Nakeya Lovett told WJHG: "These women were pillars in the community. A lot of people would pass by and blow the horn as they saw them sitting on the porch. It's just heartbreaking."

Local resident James Rhynes told WJHG  he was not in the house at the time but said his grandmother and aunt were among those who died in the fire.

"Job says, 'Though he slayed me yet will I trust him.' That's what I hold on to," Rhynes said. "Just the simple words: 'Yet I will trust him, yet I will trust him, yet I will trust him.' That's what we hold onto as a family no matter what it looks like on the outside we will trust God."

Read on NBC News

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