October 4, 2022

A Pennsylvania firefighter has spoken of his grief after losing ten family members in a devastating house fire he responded to.

Harold Baker III said he was first on the scene of the fire in Nescopeck in the early hours of Friday morning and didn’t initially realize the house that was engulfed in flames was where 13 members of his family lived.

The 56-year-old explained that witnesses had reported the house next door was on fire in the 911 call.

“I was the first one to show up,” Mr Baker said The independent. “One of my sons, who passed, was also a firefighter.”

The bodies of ten of his relatives, including his 19-year-old son, were found, Mr Baker said. Among the dead are three children between the ages of five and seven. Three others managed to escape the inferno.

Mr Baker, who has been a firefighter for almost four decades, said he was desperately sorry he was unable to save his family members.

“I couldn’t get in there to save them. This is the biggest thing that has been bothering me. I couldn’t get in there to save them,” he told the local news station WNEP, who first mentioned the tragedy.

Pennsylvania State Police identified the adults who were killed as Dale Baker, 19, Star Baker, 2; David Daubert, 79; Brian Daubert, 4; Shannon Daubert, 45; Laura Daubert, 47; and Marian Slusser, 54.

said Violet Kessler, who is related to eight of the victims The New York Times some of them had decided to stay home after spending the day together on Thursday at a pool.

“I don’t even understand things,” Ms. Kessler said Times. “I don’t even know how to put it all in my brain. It’s like a dream.”

said Mr. Baker The independent that he is receiving the support of the community at this difficult time.

“They take care of my whole family, everyone who is a part of it. We have stores that give us food and send all kinds of donations,” he said.

Nescopeck Mayor Robin Massina’s daughter has also created one GoFundMe to cover funeral expenses and support surviving family members.

Pennsylvania State Police have launched a criminal investigation into the fire. The cause has not been determined.

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