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NESCOPECK, Pa. (AP) — Fire tore quickly through a house in the wee hours of Friday, killing seven adults and three children and horrifying a volunteer firefighter who arrived to battle the blaze only to discover that the victims were his family, authorities said.

A criminal investigation into the fire is underway, authorities said.

The children who died in the fire were ages 5, 6 and 7, Pennsylvania State Police said in a news release.

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Nescopeck Volunteer Fire Co. firefighter Harold Baker told the Citizens’ Voice newspaper 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.

He told WNEP-TV that 13 dogs were also in the home but did not say if he knew whether any survived.

The fire in Nescopeck was reported around 2:30 a.m. One person was found dead inside the single-family home shortly after emergency responders arrived, while two other victims were found later in the morning.

Some people were able to safely flee the burning home, authorities said.

Baker said that the address initially given for the call was a neighboring home, but that he realized it was his family’s residence as the fire truck approached.

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

Neighbors reported hearing a loud popping sound or explosion before seeing the front porch of the home rapidly consumed by flames. Some also reported hearing a young man screaming in front of the home, “They’re all dead.”

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

“The kids that were there and my two kids were just visiting their aunt and uncle,” Baker told WNEP. “Those were the ones who own the house. They were there visiting and going into the pool and all that.”

Pennsylvania State Police Lt. Derek Felsman said a “complex criminal investigation” was underway. Troopers were interviewing survivors, he said.

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Tags: philadelphia news eagles local news pennsylvania news philadelphia news the citizens’ pennsylvania state police criminal investigation reported hearing authorities said children victims were the home the victims in the home people were

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Woman whose house Anne Heche crashed into is lucky to be alive: neighbor

More On: anne heche Anne Heche ‘in a coma’: Star yet to regain consciousness, in ‘critical condition’ after wreck Cops suspect DUI in Anne Heche crash, granted warrant for blood sample Anne Heche ‘in stable condition’ after being severely burned in car crash Actress Anne Heche severely burned in fiery car crash

The woman whose home was destroyed by Anne Heche’s car crash on Friday “was extremely fortunate” to survive without injuries, her neighbor revealed.

Lynne Bernstein, who lives near Lynne Mishele, said the Los Angeles resident was in a different room when the actress, 53, crashed into her house.

“I don’t think she got what was going on. She said, ‘What happened? What happened?’ ” Bernstein told People of Mishele, noting she was “in shock.”

Her neighbor recalled Heche’s blue Mini Cooper driving “almost all the way through” the house and “almost immediately” caught fire.

Bernstein noted that her pets, which include a turtle and two dogs, also narrowly escaped.

Meanwhile, Heche remains in “critical condition” after slipping into a coma on Monday.

Lynne Mishele, whose home was destroyed by Anne Heche’s car crash on Friday “was extremely fortunate” to survive without injuries, her neighbor revealed.Facebook/Lynne Mishele

“She has a significant pulmonary injury requiring mechanical ventilation and burns that require surgical intervention,” her rep told Page Six on Monday after previously telling outlets that she was in stable condition.

Although Mishele was unharmed, the owners of the property that was destroyed have started a GoFundMe to help cover the loss of “the place she loves.”

Mishele’s home after the accident.GoFundMe

“Lynne lives with her beautiful pups Bree and Rueban, and tortoise Marley in the Mar Vista home that was destroyed this week by a car driving into the home at a high rate of speed, catching the house on fire,” John and Jennifer Durand wrote.

“Lynne and her family very narrowly escaped physical harm, and for that we are very, very grateful.”

The actress remains in hospital.Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

They noted in the campaign that the Los Angeles Fire Department “immediately red-tagged” the house and she lost an “entire lifetime of possessions, mementos, all equipment for her business including her laptop and iPad, all of her clothing and basic necessities, and all household items.”

Mishele’s two dogs also escaped.gofundme

They continued, “With firefighters’ help, she was able to pull a few damaged sentimental belongings from the wreckage. Everything else is gone.”

The “Six Days, Seven Nights” star will have to give a blood sample to authorities after LAPD received a warrant to test for drugs and/or alcohol at the time of the crash, Page Six confirmed earlier today.

Filed under anne heche ,  celebrity car crashes ,  celebrity injuries ,  8/8/22

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