September 23, 2023

Ten people, including three children, were killed when a house caught fire 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 made it out, there were others trapped inside, according to state police.

Several first responders and K9 units located the victims inside 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 — 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 he told the Citizens’ Voice 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 the address initially given for the call was a neighboring house, but he realized it was his family’s residence as the fire truck approached.

“When we turned the corner here on Dewey (Street) I knew right away what a house it was looking down the street,” Baker told Citizens’ Voice. “I was in the first engine and when we pulled up, the whole field was completely involved. We tried to get in on them.”

Neighbors reported hearing a loud bang or explosion, before seeing the home’s front porch quickly engulfed in flames. Some also reported hearing a young man scream in front of the house, “They’re all dead.”

Baker, who was relieved of his firefighting duties because of his relationship with the victims, said 14 people lived in the home. One of them was outside delivering newspapers and three others escaped, he said.

The home was completely destroyed by the fire, state police said.

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