PA - Ten Die in Dwelling Fire - Nescopeck, Luzerne County - 5 August 2022

MsBetsy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2018
Messages
18,932
Reaction score
166,380

btfly547

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2012
Messages
327
Reaction score
2,276
Seems as if the fire was called in as the neighboring address. Harold Baker is a firefighter and went out on the call only to discover the call was actually to his in-laws home. He lost two children (I believe one was 19) as well as 3 grandchildren. Says his kids and grandkids were visiting their aunt/staying overnight.

'All lost' - Firefighter describes Nescopeck blaze that took family members

From the article:
Baker also happens to have family ties to all 14 people who were staying in the home. He says he has not seen or heard from 10 of those family members.

"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."

According to Baker, there were also 13 dogs in the home. He says not everybody was living there; several people were just visiting family.

"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."
 

btfly547

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2012
Messages
327
Reaction score
2,276
Wow, 14 people and all those dogs living in one house? State Police are calling it a "complex criminal investigation." The neighbor stated he heard a loud pop, looked over at the house and it was already in flames. Arsen?

The 14 people I can kind of understand since 3 were little kids and 1-2 were older teens, all visiting and will usually sleep anywhere at those ages. How does one live in a home with 13 dogs? That seems like a lot.

I also wonder what makes this a criminal investigation and to be announced so soon as one?
 

Richrd

Eight Year Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2014
Messages
8,520
Reaction score
8,274
Last edited:

MsBetsy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2018
Messages
18,932
Reaction score
166,380
The 14 people I can kind of understand since 3 were little kids and 1-2 were older teens, all visiting and will usually sleep anywhere at those ages. How does one live in a home with 13 dogs? That seems like a lot.

I also wonder what makes this a criminal investigation and to be announced so soon as one?
The house looks very large compared to the others in the ABC article. I wonder if it was an old colonial style house, separated into a couple of apartments. I didn't realize the kids were just visiting, but yeah, that's a lot of dogs. Maybe some were outside dogs.

Officials must have some sort of evidence the fire was started intentionally. I don't know how they ruled out an accidental fire from within. If there was an explosion, it sounds like it happened where the porch was. I wondered if there was something flammable stored there, or a gas grill.
 

MsBetsy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2018
Messages
18,932
Reaction score
166,380
A neighbor said they heard two gunshots shortly before they saw the burning home.

That was probably the explosion. According to a neighbor they were often out on the "cluttered" porch. I wonder if the two that escaped were there when it started. Either that or maybe on the opposite end of the house and got out quickly. It's also possible that it started accidentally.

Some articles quote police as saying it is a criminal investigation and others say that 'if' they find evidence it was intentional, they will begin a criminal investigation. Imo
 
  • Like
Reactions: nao

Elley Mae

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 9, 2008
Messages
20,066
Reaction score
29,517
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.

“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.”
 

MimosaMornings

Well- Known Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2018
Messages
7,711
Reaction score
59,715

“A neighbor, Michael Swank, said he had awakened around 2:30 a.m. and heard popping noises, which he had at first thought were gunshots. He looked outside and saw the porch of a house across the street engulfed in flames. He said that the noises he had heard seemed to be cans of paint or propane tanks igniting and exploding.

“I knew the Fire Department was not going to make it in time” to rescue the occupants of the house, Mr. Swank said. He neither heard nor saw any activity to indicate anyone was trying to escape from the fire, he said.

“Boy, it was just a horrendous fire” that spread swiftly from the porch to the upper floors, he said, adding: “It was an inferno. God bless those children that were in there. They didn’t have a prayer.”

In addition to Dale Baker and Star Baker, the State Police identified the adults who died as David Daubert Sr., 79; Brian Daubert, 42; Shannon Daubert, 45; Laura Daubert, 47; and Marian Slusser, 54.

Mr. Swank said that tenants at the home seldom lived there for more than a year or two.”

So it was a rental? With no functioning fire alarms?

I thought three people were able to escape?
 

Shamrock1

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2017
Messages
1,838
Reaction score
15,575

“A neighbor, Michael Swank, said he had awakened around 2:30 a.m. and heard popping noises, which he had at first thought were gunshots. He looked outside and saw the porch of a house across the street engulfed in flames. He said that the noises he had heard seemed to be cans of paint or propane tanks igniting and exploding.

“I knew the Fire Department was not going to make it in time” to rescue the occupants of the house, Mr. Swank said. He neither heard nor saw any activity to indicate anyone was trying to escape from the fire, he said.

“Boy, it was just a horrendous fire” that spread swiftly from the porch to the upper floors, he said, adding: “It was an inferno. God bless those children that were in there. They didn’t have a prayer.”

In addition to Dale Baker and Star Baker, the State Police identified the adults who died as David Daubert Sr., 79; Brian Daubert, 42; Shannon Daubert, 45; Laura Daubert, 47; and Marian Slusser, 54.

Mr. Swank said that tenants at the home seldom lived there for more than a year or two.”

So it was a rental? With no functioning fire alarms?

I thought three people were able to escape?

Most people - and certainly most landlords - have only an ionization smoke detector. These detect flames and are much slower to react to smoke - especially a slow, smoldering, smoky fire. Video illustrating ionization vs photoelectric below. If this was a slow smoldering fire, there may well have been perfectly functioning ionization alarms that didn’t sound until too late - particularly given that this was a smaller property packed with people/animals (and their belongings, presumably). Knowing where each body was found will be helpful in knowing when/if the alarms sounded. (Also, lots of kids tend to sleep through alarms - link at bottom).


 

MsBetsy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2018
Messages
18,932
Reaction score
166,380

“A neighbor, Michael Swank, said he had awakened around 2:30 a.m. and heard popping noises, which he had at first thought were gunshots. He looked outside and saw the porch of a house across the street engulfed in flames. He said that the noises he had heard seemed to be cans of paint or propane tanks igniting and exploding.

“I knew the Fire Department was not going to make it in time” to rescue the occupants of the house, Mr. Swank said. He neither heard nor saw any activity to indicate anyone was trying to escape from the fire, he said.

“Boy, it was just a horrendous fire” that spread swiftly from the porch to the upper floors, he said, adding: “It was an inferno. God bless those children that were in there. They didn’t have a prayer.”

In addition to Dale Baker and Star Baker, the State Police identified the adults who died as David Daubert Sr., 79; Brian Daubert, 42; Shannon Daubert, 45; Laura Daubert, 47; and Marian Slusser, 54.

Mr. Swank said that tenants at the home seldom lived there for more than a year or two.”

So it was a rental? With no functioning fire alarms?

I thought three people were able to escape?
I have not read that there were no smoke detectors. They were apparently renting to buy and had only been there a couple of months.

If the fire was caused by a gas grill, that would explain how quickly the home was engulfed and why they couldn't get out in time.

One family member was reportedly on a paper route and it's not known where the other two were when the fire started. They may have already been outside at the time.
 

MimosaMornings

Well- Known Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2018
Messages
7,711
Reaction score
59,715

As Eyewitness News reported on Friday we know that a man was taken into custody by police at the scene that morning.

But investigators are not releasing details about that individual. Neighbors also tell us they saw a fire line.. burning from the front porch into the street.”

What?!?
 

MsBetsy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2018
Messages
18,932
Reaction score
166,380

As Eyewitness News reported on Friday we know that a man was taken into custody by police at the scene that morning.

But investigators are not releasing details about that individual. Neighbors also tell us they saw a fire line.. burning from the front porch into the street.”

What?!?
I was wondering why police called this a "complex criminal investigation" so quickly.

One of the three survivors must have lived there if he was out delivering papers. I never knew they delivered that late. Maybe the other two were up waiting for him to get done? If so, they might have seen or heard something.

What could have caused the line of fire? Something on the porch that exploded?
 

evilwise

Unknown Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2020
Messages
1,824
Reaction score
12,874
I was wondering why police called this a "complex criminal investigation" so quickly.

One of the three survivors must have lived there if he was out delivering papers. I never knew they delivered that late. Maybe the other two were up waiting for him to get done? If so, they might have seen or heard something.

What could have caused the line of fire? Something on the porch that exploded?
For there to be a fire line and someone on the scene arrested, most likely that person poured gasoline all over the porch (and other flammable tanks/cans) then poured a trail of gasoline to a clear distance and lit it like a fuse
 

MsBetsy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2018
Messages
18,932
Reaction score
166,380
For there to be a fire line and someone on the scene arrested, most likely that person poured gasoline all over the porch (and other flammable tanks/cans) then poured a trail of gasoline to a clear distance and lit it like a fuse
That makes sense, but I wonder who could do this to an entire family, including children. It certainly doesn't sound accidental.
 
Top