ROSTRAVER TOWNSHIP, Pa. (KDKA) — Two people and a dog are dead after an early morning fire in Westmoreland County. This one is hitting close to home for firefighters.
‘I’m just so heartbroken,” neighbor Jenilee Davis told KDKA.
According to the Collinsburg VFD Chief Joel Koricich, the victims were the elderly parents of one of the department’s firefighters.
“You lose your parents and the dog, that’s a tough pill to swallow on a Sunday morning,” he said at the scene.
The victims have been identified as 81-year-old Marie A. Oblak and 83-year-old Lloyd D. Oblak.
The fire started around 2 Sunday morning at the house in the 800 block of Collinsburg Road. According to a press release, neighbors saw that the residence was on fire and called 911.
Chief Koricich could see the flames’ glow from his house about a mile away.
“All of our members that came out of their homes, it looked like a sunset. It was so bright,” he said.
When fire crews got to the home, the flames were too intense to go in and rescue the couple. They had to work on putting out the flames before they could try to get inside but it would be too late.
“It’s frustrating, but there is nothing we could do. We have to work on extinguishment before we can get anyone in there,” Chief Korisich said. “It’s never easy. Certainly, we will be praying for him and his family and do whatever necessary for him.”
Davis lived across the street from the victims for about four decades and says they were the kind of neighbors anyone would love to have.
“Seeing her at the store, she’d always ask me how I was. Mostly him, I would see him cutting the grass,” Davis said on her front porch.
The Pennsylvania State Police Fire Marshal is investigating along with Rostraver Township Police. Right now the cause is undetermined.
McCauley Funeral Home of West Newton will be handling the funeral arrangements, according to the press release.