6 die in fire
JC KRIESHER/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS High flames shoot out of a Pottsville home late last night as firefighters rush to extinguish the blaze. 4 children and 2 adults lost their lives in the blaze.
Four children and two adults were found dead following a raging fire that erupted late Mother's Day night in Pottsville.
Firefighters who were called to 235 Pierce St. for a house fire, arrived to see fire shooting out the second floor and attic windows, as well as thick smoke pouring out of the front.
According to communications dispatch, firefighters were not able to enter the home because of the extent of the fire. Communications also said that one firefighter may have been injured falling off a ladder, although that has not been confirmed.
Schuylkill County Deputy Coroner Joseph Pothering identified those killed as Eric Brown, 30, and his children Elijah Brown, 2; Emily Brown, 3; Jeremiah Brown, 7; and Joy Brown, 8. Also identified was Christina Thomas, 26, the children's aunt and sister-in-law of Eric Brown.
Pothering said that Eric and Jerimiah Brown were both found in a third floor front bedroom, while Emily Brown was found in a third floor middle bedroom. He said Joy Brown was found on the third floor to the rear of the home; adding that Christina Thomas was found partially out of a rear window. Reports stated that Kelly Brown, 28, the children's mother, was across the street at a neighbor's home when flames erupted. She was not injured.
Pothering said virtual autopsies will be conducted sometime today.
Adjacent homes suffered minor to major damage ranging from smoke, water and fire damage. Volunteers with the American Red Cross also responded and provided food and snacks to emergency responders, as well as assistance to neighbors evacuated from adjacent homes.
Responding were fire companies from Pottsville, about a dozen other fire companies and Pottsville-Schuylkill Haven Area EMS.
A state police fire marshal was expected to be on scene most of the day today investigating the blaze.
Pottsville Fire Chief Todd March said it was too soon to determine the cause of the fire.