BROCKWAY, Pa. — A fire engulfed a house in rural Pennsylvania early Thursday, state police said, killing 10 people and forcing one of the survivors to jump naked from the second floor.
Eight people were killed and two were missing and presumed dead, state police said. Two others escaped.
The blaze badly damaged the light-blue house, making it difficult to find and remove the two people who were missing, said Trooper Bruce Morris. The eight victims who were found ranged in age from 4 months to 40 years.
The house’s facade was gone, leaving a view of the inside of the home, remnants of a front porch and a lopsided stove. Two children’s bicycles sat in the rubble.
Crying as she spoke, family friend Carol Paruso said three generations lived there.
“They were a tight family and they all took care of each other. That’s who they were and that’s what makes it so sad,” she said.
Bill Fustini, a mail carrier who lives nearby, said his dog woke him up at about 2:30 a.m. When he saw the smoke, he called his son, a firefighter, who told him the home had gone up in flames.
“There was a little girl living in that house and she met me every day and she was the sweetest thing,” Fustini said.
He said he believed the couple who lived there also had two adult daughters living with them, and that the father worked at a nearby glass container factory.
“They really didn’t have much,” he said.
Jaime Hynds, who lives across the street from the home, said she was awakened at about 2:30 a.m. by a naked woman shouting for help. The woman, believed to be about 19 years old, had jumped from the second floor and ran to Hynds’ home, she told The Courier-Express of DuBois.
Hynds said at least five children lived in the house.
Trooper Mark Schrecengost said fire crews arrived within minutes and the house was already ablaze. The fire was under investigating, but police said the fire did not appear suspicious.
Firefighters brought in wood beams to fortify the structure.
A minivan in the home’s driveway was partly burned. Vinyl siding on the house next door had partly melted away from the heat.
Brockway is a rural town of about 2,000 residents set among rolling hills and farmland 80 miles northeast of Pittsburgh. The home was on Pershing Avenue, a main drag lined with several other single-family homes.
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