Authorities have released the name of a 94-year-old man who died Tuesday in a fire that ripped through the Burlington County home he shared with his longtime companion and her son.
George Pikunis of the Browns Mills section of Pemberton Township was pronounced dead at the scene Tuesday night. His name was not released until Thursday so family members could be notified. The blaze also killed Lore Smith, 92, and seriously injured her son, Kurt, 59.
The cause remained under investigation Thursday. Authorities were called to the 500 block of Willow Boulevard about 8:45 p.m. and pulled the three victims from the single-story house.
Lore Smith was pronounced dead at Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center at Deborah Hospital on Tuesday night. Kurt Smith was airlifted to Temple University Hospital, where was placed on a respirator, said Joel Bewley, a spokesperson for the Burlington County Prosecutor's Office. A spokesperson for Temple said Smith was in fair condition Thursday.
According to witnesses, the three were trapped inside the home. Neighbors and police who tried to help them could not get through the flames and thick smoke. Firefighters equipped with breathing gear arrived shortly afterward and pulled them from the house. It took emergency crews an hour to get the blaze under control.