Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard

4 children, 2 adults killed in Pa. fire identified

Six people died, including four children, in a fire that ripped through a single-family home in Pottsville, Schuylkill County, sometime around midnight Sunday.

It wasn't immediately knkown what caused the blaze at 235 Pierce Street.  Arriving firefighters found heavy fire in the rear of the house, Pottsville Fire Chief Todd March told the Republican Herald.

The Schuylkill County Coroner's office identified the victims to the Associated Press as Eric Brown, 30; his children, Elijah Brown, 2; Emily Brown, 3; Jeremiah Brown, 7; and Joy Brown, 8. Kristina Thomas, 26, also died in the fire. She's the sister of 28-year-old Kelly Brown, the mother who survived.

The family is believed to have recently moved to Pennsylvania from Washington state, the Allentown Morning Call reports.

Crews from around the area were dispatched to the scene. View dramatic video of the fire here.

Fire crews told Fox43 that the floors and roof of the home collapsed.

The fire appears to have started in the kitchen areas, March told the Republican Herald. The flames then spread up a stairway to the third-floor bedrooms where the victims were sleeping. The fire blocked the stairs that were the only way to escape from the third-floor rooms.

Firefighters found no evidence of smoke alarms inside the home, March told the newspaper.

Kelly Brown was doing laundry at a neighbor's home at the time of the blaze because her washing machine was broken, the neighbor told the AP.

Five firefighters received minor injuries.

Pottsville is situated in what's known as Pennsylvania's coal country.  It is about 30 minutes southwest of Jim Thorpe, and an hour northeast of Harrisburg.  The Yuengling brewery has its headquarters there.