Four children have died in a house fire, and two adults and another child are also in hospital.
Emergency services were called to Sycamore Lane in the Highfields area of Stafford at about 02:40 GMT.
Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service are examining the scene as the investigation into the cause of the fire begins.
The injuries to the two adults and the child are not thought to be life-threatening.
Police said the family are being supported by specialist officers.
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokeswoman said: “When crews arrived they found an ongoing serious house fire.
“Three occupants, two adults and a child, had managed to get out of the property. Tragically, four children from the property were confirmed dead on scene.
“Our thoughts are with the family at this exceptionally difficult time.”