Parents in “Shock” After 7 Children Die in Farmhouse Fire

"I don't know how they'll come back here to work."

Neighbors say the parents who lost seven of their eight children when their farmhouse caught fire are "still in shock."

The children ranged in age from seven months old to 11 years old.

"To lose one child would be bad, I don't know how that is for seven," said one of the neighbors, Mike Trout.

The father, Ted Clouse, left the farm in Loysville, Pa. Tuesday night to deliver milk. His wife, Janelle was in a nearby barn, milking cows. Their three-year-old daughter, the only child who survived, ran to the barn to tell her mother she smelled smoke.

The mother ran to a neighbor's, called 911 and then ran down the road to her husband's truck, where he had fallen asleep. Six of the couple's daughters and their only son, died of smoke inhalation.

"You know, it's lucky that the three-year-old, at least, was able to make it out of the house," said State Trooper Tom Pinkerton. "But to live with the fact that the rest of her siblings perished inside? It's just a sad, sad day."

Neighbors were at the dairy farm on Wednesday, tending to the stables and helping milk cows. They parked a camper next to the charred home, so the parents would have a place to sleep.

"It's pretty hard to take. Of course that's why we're all here, to try to help them through as best we can," said Mike Trout, one of the neighbors.

The Clouse parents showed up to thank them, but left shortly after, "still in shock."

"She was very, very upset," Trout said, overcome with emotion. "I don't know how they'll come back here to work."

Fire investigators believe the fire started in the kitchen but an exact cause wasn't known Thursday night.

The Church Of The Living Christ Of Loysville has set up a fund for the Clouse family. Donations can be made to:

Clouse Family Fund
c/o Church of the Living Christ
P.O. Box 180
Loysville, PA 17047

Funeral Services for the deceased will be held on Tuesday at 11 a.m. at the Perry Mennonite Reception Center at 350 Green Park Rd., Elliottsbyrg, Pa.

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