A Pennsylvania firefighter has witnessed what can be described as the most horrific moment of his life as he watched his entire family burn to death without being able to help them.
According to reports, Harold Baker, a volunteer firefighter in Pennsylvania, was among the first to respond when the fire department received a call about a massive fire in Nescopeck, totally unaware that his family was in this fire. This call was placed around 2:30 on Friday morning, and Harold, together with other firefighters, immediately moved to the rescue.
Unfortunately, this two-story house with more than a dozen of Harold’s family members was already in a critical situation before their arrival. They had tried to put out this fire, but their efforts yielded no results as the fire had already engulfed the entire house, leaving no part untouched for the firefighters to get in.
"Fire tore quickly through a house in northeastern Pennsylvania, US early Friday morning, killing seven adults and three children and horrifying a volunteer firefighter (Harold Baker) who arrived to battle the blaze only to discover the victims were his own family .." pic.twitter.com/DIdGfqFlb0
— Graphenes (@Graphenes1) August 6, 2022
On this sad day, this firefighter had lost 10 family members to the fire without being able to help. The people who had died in the house included almost all of Harold’s family and pets, as only 3 people were able to successfully escape in a house with over 12 people.
“I also lost my son, my daughter, grandson, two other grandkids in there, my father-in-law, my brother-in-law, and my sister-in-law. All lost,” Harold told the press. He added that “The kids that were there and my two kids were just visiting their aunt and uncle. Those were the ones who own the house. They were there visiting and going into the pool and all that.”
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The deceased adults in this sad fire were later recognized as 19-year-old Dale Baker, 22-year-old Star Baker, 79-year-old David Daubert Sr., 42-year-old Brian Daubert, 45-year-old Shannon Daubert, and 47-year-old Laura Daubert, and 54-year-old Marian Slusser. The other victims were children aged 5,6 and 7, respectively. Harold also added that there were 12 dogs living in the home.
“I couldn’t get in there to save them," firefighter Harold Baker said after losing 10 of his relatives. https://t.co/JI6jaMSA6R
— WPXI (@WPXI) August 7, 2022
The cause of such a massive fire was still undetermined and remains under investigation. Though a criminal investigation had not begun, the police department Luzerne County District Attorney Sam Sanguedolce had announced that “Should the fire marshals determine the cause to be intentional and incendiary, we would begin a criminal investigation for arson.”.
The police also added that “We are utilizing multiple department assets to ensure a thorough and complete investigation into this fatal fire.”
The firefighter had also blamed himself for the deaths as he lamented, “I couldn’t get in there to save them. That is the biggest thing that has been on me. I couldn’t get in there to save them,” and one can only imagine what he is going through at this moment after this sad experience.
The entire city of Pennsylvania had also shared in Baker’s grief, and a GoFundMe page was also created by the town mayor’s daughter to support those who lost their loved ones and possessions, and about $20,000 has been raised so far. In addition, the Red Cross was also providing support and counseling to the victims’ families.