Istanbul, Turkey: A fire in northwestern Turkey killed a mother, her six children and two nephews despite efforts by the father to save the family, officials and media said on Wednesday.

The blaze erupted shortly before midnight late Tuesday in an apartment in the city of Bursa, where a Syrian refugee family in Turkey since 2017 had moved into a month a half prior, officials said.

The mother, her six children aged one to 10, and two nephews aged 11 and 12, were inside the flat when the fire began, according to local media.

The father, who came home late after attending a funeral in Istanbul, tried to save those inside, but was overcome by the smoke, according to the Anadolu news agency.

"There are nine bodies inside. Eight of them are children," Bursa regional governor, Yakup Canbolat, was quoted by Anadolu.

The city mayor, Alinur Aktas, said in a tweet that the fire was probably caused by a wood-burning stove inside the apartment.

Turkey hosts 3.7 million Syrian refugees, who have sought shelter in the country since the start of a war in Syria in 2011.

© Agence France-Presse