Ten people, including three children, were killed when a house went up in flames in Pennsylvania early Friday morning, state police said. Three adults survived the fire, and a criminal investigation is ongoing.
Authorities responded to the two-story home in Nescopeck at 2:42 a.m. local time and learned that although three people had made it out, there were others trapped inside, according to state police.
Several responding agencies and K9 units located the victims inside of the home.
State police identified them as: Dale Baker, 19; Star Baker, 22; David Daubert, 79; Brian Daubert, 42; Shannon Daubert, 45; Laura Daubert, 47; and Marian Slusser, 54. Three juveniles also died — they were identified as a 7-year-old girl, a 6-year-old boy and a 5-year-old boy.
Nescopeck Volunteer Fire Co. firefighter Harold Baker told the Citizens’ Voice newspaper of Wilkes-Barre that the 10 victims included his son, daughter, father-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, three grandchildren and two other relatives.
Baker said that the address initially given for the call was a neighboring home, but that he realized it was his family’s residence as the fire truck approached.
“When we turned the corner up here on Dewey (Street) I knew right away what house it was just by looking down the street,” Baker told the Citizens’ Voice. “I was on the first engine, and when we pulled up, the whole place was fully involved. We tried to get in to them.”
Neighbors reported hearing a loud popping sound or explosion, before seeing the front porch of the home rapidly consumed by flames. Some also reported hearing a young man screaming in front of the home, “They’re all dead.”
Baker, who was relieved of his firefighting duties because of his relationship to the victims, said 14 people were living in the home. One of them was out delivering newspapers, and three others escaped, he said.
The home was completely destroyed in the fire, state police said.