HAMILTON, Ohio — A fire erupted early Friday at a southwest Ohio home, killing three children and sending their parents and two other kids to hospitals.

The blaze killed a 7-year-old boy and two girls, ages 10 and 12, said Deputy Chief Ken Runyan of the Hamilton Fire Department. Firefighters using ladders found the children on the second floor of the home in Hamilton, about 20 miles north of Cincinnati.

Their father was flown to a Cincinnati hospital after emergency responders found him trying to rescue the children. Runyan didn't immediately have details about the extent of the man's injuries.

Their mother and a 9-year-old boy were taken to a local hospital. A 2-year-old was sent with them, though it wasn't clear whether that child was hurt.

Neighbor Liz Delk, who lives down the street, recalled getting up for work at around 2:30 a.m., peering out the window and seeing the woman running from the home.

"We heard her screaming and it was just up in flames," Delk said, adding, "There was nothing that could be done."

Someone called 911, and fire trucks were there within a few minutes, Delk said.

Leonardo Flores, who lives next door, said that the injured adults are his younger brother and sister-in-law and that they'd lived in the home with for a while.

He was quiet and somber as he and others surveyed the scene later Friday morning.

"I feel very bad," said Flores, 40. "This is my family."

Authorities had no immediate information about what caused the fire. The state fire marshal's office will investigate.

Associated Press writer Kantele Franko in Columbus, Ohio, contributed to this report.