Three children and seven adults were killed in a fire that raged through a Pennsylvania home on Friday morning. A local firefighter is linked to numerous victims.
Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) said in a statement that at 2:42 a.m. one of its officers arrived at a “house fire with entrapment” at a two-story house in Nescopeck, a small town just over 100 miles from Philadelphia.
The PSP added that a total of 10 people were found dead inside the house “including three minors”. Three other adults were able to escape from the house and survive. The Luzerne County Coroner’s Office assisted at the scene with PSP K9 units.
“The residence was completely destroyed by the fire,” said the PSP, adding that “the investigation is ongoing.”
The victims have been identified as Dale Baker, 19, Star Baker, 22, David Daubert Sr., 79, Brian Daubert, 42, Shannon Daubert, 45, Laura Daubert, 47, and Marian Slusser, 54 .
The names of the deceased children have not been released; however, the PSP said they were 5, 6, and 7.
Nescopeck Volunteer Fire Co. firefighter Harold Baker told local ABC affiliate WNEP that his son and daughter, Dale and Star, died in the blaze. He also lost his father-in-law and his sister-in-law. The deceased children were his grandchildren. Thirteen dogs were also inside the house.
“All is lost,” Harold said. “The kids that were there and my two kids were visiting their aunt and uncle. They were the ones who owned the house. They were there visiting and going swimming and stuff.”
Recalling the moment he discovered his loved ones’ house was on fire, Harold said The New York Times he awoke to pager alerts of a fire with 10 people trapped. He quickly made his way to the fire station and as they walked towards the house, he realized that they had been given the wrong address and that his brother-in-law’s house was actually the one. which was burning.
“I tried to get in as fast as I could,” he said. The temperature. “I tried three times, then they realized who the house was and why I was trying to get in, and they shot me. They said, ‘No, you have to get the hell out of here. . ”
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Her son Dale, who was a volunteer firefighter, was saluted with a flag over his body after being found. “They took him in as a deceased firefighter,” Harold, who lost eight loved ones to the blaze, said of his son.
His daughter Star, was to marry in 2023.
Michael Swank, who lives across the street, said The temperature he saw flames coming from the porch after hearing popping noises which he initially thought were gunshots.
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“I knew the firefighters weren’t going to get there in time. Damn, it was just a horrible fire,” he said, saying the flames went from the porch upstairs to the house. “It was hell. God bless those kids that were in there. They had no prayer.”
PSP Lt. Derek Felsman said a “complex criminal investigation” was underway, according to the WJAC. Authorities have also spoken with those who made it out alive.
Robin Massina, the daughter of the mayor of Nescopeck, has started a GoFundMe for donations. He raised nearly $5,000 towards his $10,000 goal.