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Pennsylvania fire kills 10 relatives of firefighter, 3 of them children

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Associated Press

Associated Press

Michael Rubinkam And Mark Scolforo

The scene of a fatal house fire in Nescopeck, PA.
scene Nescopeck, PA Deadly house fire in.Photo courtesy of Jimmy May/AP Communications

Nescopeck, PA — According to authorities, northeastern Pennsylvania Early Friday morning, he killed seven adults and three children who arrived to fight the flames just to discover that the victims were in their own family, horrifying volunteer firefighters.

According to Pennsylvania police, children aged 5, 6 and 7 died, and seven adults ranged from late teens to men aged 79. .. An autopsy was planned for this weekend.

Harold Baker, a volunteer firefighter in the town of Nescope, said the 10 victims included a son, daughter, father-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, three grandchildren and two. Stated. Other relatives. He said two children and other young victims were visiting his aunt and uncle's house for swimming and other summer fun.

He said 13 dogs were also in the two-story house, but he wasn't sure if any of them survived.

"All I wanted to do was go there and meet these people, my family. That was all I was thinking of and I spoke to them." Baker said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press.

Baker grabbed the hose and air pack and began pouring water into the fire. He desperately went inside and called out to his son. His chief understood who the house was, and his fellow firefighters brought Baker back to the fire department.

According to a preliminary investigation, the fire broke out on the front porch around 2:30 am, Luzerne County District Attorney Sam Sangedolce said Friday night.

"The information I have is that the fire started and progressed so quickly that it was very difficult to catch it," he said.

Three people were able to escape the flames, Sanguedolce said. The investigation involved four state police firefighters, but he said he would not be classified as a criminal investigator unless he determined that a fire had broke out intentionally.

Nescopeck is a small town on the Susquehanna River, about 20 miles southwest of Wilkes-Barre. The house was mainly in the residential area of ​​a single-family home where the owner lives.

Baker said the first phone call was to the next house. When the fire engine approached, he realized it was the residence of his family. He said his troops were the first scene and the house was already in flames.

"There was nothing I could do to get in there. I tried, but I didn't," said 57-year-old Baker, a 40-year firefighter.

His son, 19-year-old Dale Baker, followed his parents into the fire brigade and joined at the age of 16.

"He said for the rest of his life, he would just be like his dad," Harold Baker said.

Heidi Knorr, secretary of the Neskopek Volunteer Fire Department, called Dale Baker a "very fun and loving soul." He just loved life.

The family "always gladly helped those in need," Knorr said. Dale's mother was not among the dead listed by Harold Baker. Mike Swank, who lives two doors across the street

, said he happened to be up early Friday and he heard a sudden explosion and looked out. He saw the pouch "really advanced" and went out using another neighbor's hose to prevent the flames from spreading into the garage.

"He saw two men outside, but they were in various hysterical states," Swank told AP by phone.

A man was using a cell phone, "and I'm trying to ask him if everyone is out," he said. "The other man was out on the street and he was just running around in a circle."

Swank said he couldn't get any information from them. Told. The fence prevented him from being taken behind his property.

Baker said 14 people live in the house. One was delivering the newspaper, but the other three ran away.

According to Swank, the family moved a few months ago, understanding that it was a rental contract, and spent a lot of time on the cluttered front door.

"It was so fast and a lot of smoke, you just knew that no one was going to understand it," Swank said. He saw a corpse dog being used to search the scene until the corpse was found.

— Scolforo and Brooke Schultz reported from Harrisburg, PA.

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