A firefighter in Pennsylvania tried to douse the blaze early Friday morning with his family after he discovered a fire broke out in a house. Despite their best efforts to save seven adults and three children were killed.
Nescopak Volunteer Fire Company firefighter Harold Baker was one of the emergency responders sent to a two-story home in the Nescopak borough just after 2:30 a.m. Friday.
Calling his son’s name, Baker tried unsuccessfully to put out the fire. Fellow firefighters tried to enter the home, but were “pushed back by the widespread fire and heat,” said Pennsylvania State Police Lieutenant Derek Felsman.
“There was nothing we could do to get there. We tried, but we couldn’t get in,” Baker, 57, a 40-year-old firefighting veteran, told the Associated Press.
Baker said the 10 victims included his son, daughter, father-in-law, brother-in-law, brother-in-law, three grandchildren and two other relatives.
“All lost,” Baker told ABC affiliate WNEP,
According to the Pennsylvania State Police, two boys between the ages of 5 and 6 and a 7-year-old girl were among the children killed in the fire. Adult victims ranged in age from 19 to 79.
Police said three adults made it alive.
Baker said 14 people were living in the house, some of whom had come at the time of the fire. He also said that there were 13 dogs in the house; Their status has not been reported.
“All I wanted to do was go out there and meet these people, my family. That’s all I was thinking about, joining them,” Baker said.
One of the victims, Baker’s son, 19-year-old Dale Baker, was also a firefighter with the company, said fire company secretary Heidi Knorr. He followed both his parents in a firefight.
“She was such a fun-loving soul,” Knorr said. “He just loved life.”
Felsman said state police were investigating the cause of the fire. According to Luzerne County District Attorney Sam Sanguedolce, a preliminary investigation suggests the fire started in the front porch.
Nescopec is a small town on the Susquehanna River, about 20 miles southwest of Wilkes-Barre. The house was largely owner-occupied, on a residential street of single family homes.
Contribution: The Associated Press