A rural Pennsylvania volunteer firefighter responding to a call discovered his own family, including his children and grandchildren, trapped in a devastating fire that destroyed the residence and claimed several lives.
Nescopeck Volunteer Fire Co. firefighter Harold Baker pictured at The voice of citizens Wilkes-Barre’s diary of his horror upon realizing that the fire he was responding to had trapped members of his own family. Baker told the newspaper that the 10 victims of the fire were all linked to him and that he expected their remains to be recovered soon.
The fire broke out after 2:30 a.m. Friday in the small borough of less than 2,000 residents in eastern Pennsylvania, the Voice reported. It is unclear who owned the house and who lived there, but family members told the newspaper that the house was hosting a gathering and that children were sleeping.
Baker described being on the first engine to respond and how the crew initially received his neighbor’s address but soon realized the fire was at the address of his family members.
When he pulled up in front of the house, he realized how bad the fire was and how firefighters were trying to fight their way out to save the occupants, according to the newspaper.
“We tried the forward lane, the back lane,” Baker told the Voice. “There was no way for us to get in there.”
Describing to the newspaper his feeling of helplessness, Baker said, “I couldn’t get in there to save them. It was my biggest thing that ever happened to me.”
Pennsylvania State Police Lt. Derek Felsman told the newspaper that three bodies have been removed and expects more to be executed once they are identified.
Authorities told WBRE-TV that seven adults and three children died in the fire, with the ages of the victims ranging from 5 to 79 years old. Three other adults got out of the fire.
“I’ve never seen anything burn so intensely,” said Bernie Snedeker, who lives in the neighborhood, while describing the fire to the Chief of times. He said the flames touched the tops of tall trees around the house.
Pennsylvania State Police told the station the fire was under investigation, which they described as “complex”. Neighbors described hearing loud banging noises on local media.
Baker told ABC affiliate WNEP that he had family ties to the 14 people staying at the home and had not seen or heard of 10 of them.
“I also lost my son, my daughter, my grandson, two other grandchildren there, my father-in-law, my brother-in-law and my sister-in-law. All lost,” he said. declared.
Baker told the station that some family members had just visited the home, which also contained 13 dogs. In addition to the three who escaped, another was working on a log route, Baker said.
Newsweek has contacted Pennsylvania State Police for comment.