Tragic firefighter called to scene of horror blaze realises victims are his own family

A fireman has been left devastated after arriving to tackle a blaze only to find the victims were his own nearest and dearest.

Harold Baker, a volunteer firefighter in Nescopeck, Pennsylvania, said he knew the moment they turned onto the street that it was his relatives’ home on fire.

The p roperty that became an inferno belonged to his brother and sister, and tragically two of his own children were visiting at the time.

There were also a number of children at the property, including his grandkids – who were all visiting to take a dip in their pool.

In total, Mr Baker lost 10 relatives in the blaze, including his son, daughter, and three grandchildren, reports say.

He told the Citizens’ Voice newspaper: “When we turned the corner up here on Dewey [Street] I knew right away what house it was just by looking down the street.

“I was on the first engine, and when we pulled up, the whole place was fully involved. We tried to get in to them.”

And then speaking with WNEP-TV, he said: “The kids that were there and my two kids were just visiting their aunt and uncle.

“Those were the ones who own the house. They were there visiting and going into the pool and all that.”

Officials said 10 people perished in the fire, while three adults managed to escape.

Pennsylvania State Police Lt Derek Felsman told reporters on Friday: “Firefighters attempted courageous efforts to make entry into the house in the rear, but were pushed back from extensive flames and heat.”

Police deployed sniffer dogs to find the location of the bodies.

In addition to the people there were also 13 dogs living in the home.

Though there was a large family gathering, many of those attending lived elsewhere and were only visiting.

Relatives and emergency responders have been offered counselling services from the Red Cross;

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help in the wake of the tragedy.

A criminal investigation has been launched to understand the circumstances leading up to the devastating fire – which is thought to have started on the porch early Friday.

Writing on Twitter, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf said he was “heartbroken” by the tragedy.