Four children have died and one person is in hospital following a house fire in southwestern Nova Scotia.

The RCMP responded to Highway 3 in Pubnico Head, located roughly 40 kilometres southeast of Yarmouth, at 12:13 a.m. Sunday.

The RCMP has confirmed that there are multiple fatalities, but hasn’t released any details about the victims.

“This is a very preliminary investigation and a very complex investigation,” said RCMP Cpl. Jennifer Clarke at a news conference Sunday. “At this point in time we aren’t able to release a lot of details that are very specific to the investigation until we’ve confirmed those things.”

However, multiple sources in the community told CTV Atlantic that the victims are four children, and that they range in age from seven years old to a newborn.

Two adults escaped the fire and one remains in hospital.

Red Cross spokesperson Melanie MacDonald said a common-law couple lived in the home with their blended family.

Members of the small, tight-knit fishing community say the father is being treated for extensive burns in hospital. They have identified the man as a lobster fisherman whose family has lived in the house for generations.

Dozens of firefighters from several departments in the area battled the fire for hours, but freezing cold temperatures hampered their efforts.

“Our hoses freezing, plus the firemen spent so long outdoors, they had to get warmed up, and we also had two of our trucks froze, we had to take them in the hall and get them thawed out, so some little things that freeze … just enough so you can’t use it,” said West Pubnico Fire Chief Gordon Amiro.

The home was destroyed in the fire and was eventually torn down so investigators could start gathering evidence.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, but police say it’s not considered suspicious at this time.

With files from CTV Atlantic's Emily Baron-Cadloff and The Canadian Press