A Christmas tree is thought to have caused the house fire claiming the lives of 41-year-old Eric King and his two sons, 11-year-old Liam and 8-year-old Patrick.
The blaze likely started to spread around 1:30 a.m. on Dec. 25, 2021, fast destroying the wooden stick-frame construction of the King family home in Quakertown, Bucks County, Pa. Eric's wife, Kristin, and their oldest son, Brady, escaped. A GoFundMe campaign has been created to help the victims of the tragedy.
Kristin Randazzo, a friend of the King family, helped raise $609,972 via a GoFundMe campaign.
A Bucks County Community College graduate, Eric was a pillar of the community. His younger sons, Liam and Patrick, were pupils of the Richland Elementary School in Quakertown, Pa.
Eric's wife, Kristin, and their oldest son, 13-year-old Brady, a student of the Strayer Middle School, were rushed to the Lehigh Valley Hospital for treatment after escaping the fire. The two dogs owned by the King family also died.
"We are looking at the Christmas tree that may have ignited as a result of Christmas lights on that Christmas tree," Quakertown Police Chief Scott McElree told WPVI-TV.
The investigation continues. The autopsies will be carried out on Monday, Dec. 27, 2021, Bucks County Coroner Meredith Buck told Bucks County Courier Times.
Kristin Randazzo, a local businesswoman, launched a GoFundMe campaign shortly after news about the tragedy came out. In less than 72 hours, Kristin Randazzo's GoFundMe campaign helped raise $609,972. In the accompanying text, Kristin Randazzo described Eric and Kristin King as "high school sweethearts" and "the happiest people you will have ever met."
"They were always smiling and full of positive spirits," Kristin Randazzo wrote. "You just couldn’t help but love them."
As Kristin Randazzo added, the boys were a part of the Quakertown Youth Baseball Association, frequently spending time on the baseball field.
"The Quakertown community will be deeply impacted by this great loss. Please help Brady and Kristin feel the love and support of the community as they deal with healing from this horrific tragedy," Kristin Randazzo urged the readers on the GoFundMe page. The GoFundMe campaign was organized in the name of the Quakertown Community.
The King Family GoFundMe campaign is no longer accepting donations to help the survivors of the King Family fire.
In an update added after the launch of the King Family GoFundMe campaign, Kristin Randazzo shared that she has received threatening and insensitive emails questioning her aims with the GoFundMe campaign. As she wrote, she closed down the GoFundMe campaign partly because of the inappropriate messages.
"Due to people creating GoFundMe pages with the same picture and receiving some insensitive and extremely rude emails and comments, we have decided to stop accepting donations through GoFundMe at this time," she wrote. "I have received some tasteless emails and threats, and I am no longer comfortable having this open."
"This was done for a family that has been personally a part of our life, supporting our business for years, and it was, in my heart, the right thing to do," she wrote. "We will be doing other fundraisers for the family and will post on social media when we have the information available. On behalf of the King family, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all who have texted, emailed, messaged, called and donated."