GENESEE TOWNSHIP, P.A. (WKBW) — A fire swept through a home in Genesee Township in Northern Pennsylvania Monday morning, killing five children and severely injuring two adults.
A resident from the community named Nancy Jones is mourning and says the Erway family is well known and very active in the community.
“There were a wonderful family involved in 4h and so many things in this community, and it’s just sad,” Jones says.
The two surviving adults have now been identified as Michelle and Charles Erway.
According to Pennsylvania state police, both are now being treated in the burn unit at Strong Memorial Hospital.
Investigators are not releasing the names of the teens who died in the fire but say three boys, ages 14, 16, and 17, and two girls, both 16, all lost their lives.
The Northern Potter School District in Pennsylvania confirms three of the teens attended school in the district.
The superintendent released a statement saying in part:
“The loss of students is a difficult and challenging situation. our condolences and thoughts go out to the Erway family.”
According to the Wellsville Sun, the other teens attended schools in Wellsville and Scio in New York.
“I just pray for the family, and I hope things work out for all of them,” the resident says.
Investigators say damage from the fire is extensive, so the official cause is currently unclear.
However, they believe there was a possible issue with a wood stove or chimney and that the fire started in the basement.
Family members have set up a gofundme.