A house fire killed seven people, including two who made it within inches of safety but were blocked by a locked door, said authorities, who found the bodies at their feet when they forced open the door.

The fire at the rooming house here was one of four in the United States on Sunday that killed a total of 15 people. Three fires in eastern Missouri killed eight, including a family of five who died trying to escape a blaze that destroyed their mobile home.The badly burned bodies of the two men in Yonkers were found just behind the front door of the three-story house, said Fire Commissioner William McLaughlin.

The bodies tumbled onto the stoop when firefighters forced open the door, he said.

The fire was the worst in Yonkers since 1965, when nine children and three adults died in a blaze.