The Philadelphia neighborhood of Kensington is grieving the loss of a local family after a devastating fire ripped through their home early Sunday morning.

CBS Philly reports three children and one adult male are dead as a result of the house fire that broke out around 2:00 a.m. on Sunday. A 38-year-old woman was able to escape the fire and is in stable condition.

In a press conference this afternoon, Philadelphia fire commissioner Adam Thiel said that four fire engines, two ladder trucks and two battalion chiefs arrived at the home within two minutes, but it was still too late. With heavy flames coming out of the first and second story of the house, firefighters needed 35 minutes to put the fire out. 

“Unfortunately with fires burning hotter and faster than ever before, despite our best efforts, the best efforts of our members, we are tragically and unfortunately, as [was the case] this morning, too often too late to make the difference we want to make.”

Thiel added, “All of us standing here swore an oath to protect lives and property everywhere we can do it. For us, the worst possible thing is to not be able to save a life.”

Commissioner Thiel, who told reporters there is no evidence that the home had working smoke detectors, urged Philadelphia residents to make sure they have proper smoke detectors installed.

“The best fire is the one that never starts,” Thiel said.