Residents of Hopeful Village in Admiral Town, St. Andrew are in mourning this afternoon, over the horrific death of three children who were burnt to death inside their home in the community.

Two other houses were destroyed in the blaze.

The fire is believed to have been started by a family friend, who was beaten by residents and is now in hospital under police guard.

The police and fire brigade say they were alerted to the fire at minutes after 1-this morning.

Shortly after the blaze was contained, the first responders found the charred remains of three children among the debris.

The children have been identified as nine year old Abigail Reid, 15-year-old Leonardo Morris and 18-year-old Bebeto Harris.

Abigail attended Iris Gelly Primary, Leonardo attended Excelsior High, while Bebeto was a student of Tarrant High.

A resident, Violeta Harding, who’s a relative of the deceased, couldn’t contain the tears as she spoke with our news centre.

Ms. Harding claims the house was set ablaze by a male friend of the family.

She says the man had previously been reported to the police, after nine year old Abigail claimed that he attempted to molest her.

The man was subsequently held and severely beaten by residents, who then handed him over to the police.

He’s reportedly in hospital under police guard.