Smouldering ruins of a home that burned down on Newfoundland's Bell island, killing three children. ((CBC))

Three young children were killed in a fire that destroyed a home on Bell Island, 35 kilometres west of St. John's, early Saturday.

Five other people — three adults and two children — managed to get out of the burning house and were taken to hospital with injuries that weren't life-threatening.

Cpl. Trevor O'Keefe of the Bell Island RCMP detachment confirmed the dead were two five-year-old boys and a seven-year-old girl.

"The kids that died in the fire, it was a brother and a sister and their cousin," said O'Keefe. The names of the victims have not been released.

RCMP officers and members of the island's volunteer fire department were called to the scene around 3:30 a.m. local time. By then, the two-storey home was engulfed in flames.

"It's just crumbled black metal and charred wood. All that's remaining is what appears to be a chimney and a set of steps leading out to the back door," CBC reporter Rod Etheridge said.

Police are trying to find out what started the fire.

They're asking people on Bell Island to stay away from the scene of the fire and find an alternative traffic route while they investigate.

With files from the Canadian Press