CLEVELAND — Firefighters recovered the bodies of four people who died in a house fire in Cleveland on Tuesday.

Crews needed heavy equipment to take apart and stabilize the heavily damaged home before it was safe to go inside, said fire department spokesman Mike Norman.

They also were careful to preserve potential evidence for the investigation into the cause of the fire, Norman said.

The bodies of three victims were found about 14 hours after the fire began early Tuesday. Crews dismantled more of the home before recovering the fourth body Tuesday night.

Investigators and family members said a 46-year-old man, his 3-year-old son, his 8-year-old granddaughter, and the man’s 44-year-old nephew were in the house and unable to get out.

The wife of the older man escaped by jumping from a second-floor window and was being treated at a hospital, Norman said.

The woman told fire officials that she and her husband woke up when smoke filled the house, Norman said. She said they both tried but were unable to get to the children’s rooms.

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