Coroner: All 10 fire victims died of smoke inhalation

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House Fire Pennsylvania (ASSOCIATED PRESS)
House Fire Pennsylvania (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

All 10 people found dead after an early morning fire in northeastern Pennsylvania last week died of smoke inhalation, authorities said Monday.

Autopsies were completed Saturday and Sunday on the victims of the early Friday blaze in Nescopeck, according to the Luzerne County coroner’s office. A ruling on the manner of death for all 10 — classifying the deaths as accidents or homicides, for example — is pending the results of the state police investigation into the fire, officials said.

Positive identification of the victims is also pending review of medical records, dental records and DNA if required, the coroner’s office said. State police said seven adults ranging from late teens to age 79 were killed along with children aged 5, 6 and 7.

The county’s district attorney, Sam Sanguedolce, said a preliminary investigation suggests the fire broke out on the front porch at around 2:30 a.m. on Friday. Three people were able to escape the blaze, which destroyed the structure. The cause remains under investigation.

Nescopeck is a small town on the Susquehanna River, about 20 miles (32 kilometers) southwest of Wilkes-Barre.