Three children have died in a house fire in Salford, while a three-year-old is said to be in a critical condition.
A 14-year-old girl was declared dead at the scene, Greater Manchester Police said, while an eight-year-old boy and girl, seven, died later in hospital.
The blaze, which is being treated as suspicious, broke out at the terraced house in Worsley, at about 05:00 GMT. A murder inquiry is under way.
The 35-year-old mother of the children is in a serious condition in hospital.
She is heavily sedated and does not yet know her children are dead, a police spokesperson said.
Officers confirmed they had had very recent contact with the family and had visited the house in Jackson Street in the hours before the blaze.
Police say they are searching for a man in connection with the incident, which has been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).
The four children, their mother and one other person were taken to hospital after the fire.
Two boys, aged 16, who were also in the house, were described as “walking wounded”.
It is understood that one of the boys is a family member. The other is not related, police said.
BBC North Tonight chief reporter Dave Guest said a neighbour at the scene told him she awoke in the early hours of the morning to hear a woman screaming and could see the red glow of the fire through her curtains.
Seven people were in the house when the fire happened, police said
The fire service said crews rescued five people when they arrived on the scene, while two people had already got out of the house.
Jackson Street between Algernon Road and Alexandra Road remains closed.