DuBOIS — Two people have died after their DuBois home caught fire late Monday evening.
Clearfield County Coroner Kim Shaffer Snyder said Louis Corona, 57, and Wendy Hibbert, 54, both of 25 Ridge St., were both pronounced dead at the scene after being found by DuBois volunteer firefighters on the second floor of the home. Autopsies on both of the victims are scheduled for Wednesday afternoon, she said.
DuBois Volunteer Fire Department Acting Fire Chief John “Herm” Suplizio said the first engine was on scene probably within a minute of receiving the call from 911.
“It was reported as smoke coming around the eaves at 25 Ridge St., with possible entrapment,” said Suplizio, who was the second firefighter to arrive at the scene.
“I could see heavy smoke coming out of the side of the structure on the second floor followed by heavy fire,” said Suplizio. “The first engine on the scene took out a tack line to the second story and also conducted multiple searches. Crews entering the second floor of the structure were met with heavy fire and thick dense smoke. Firefighters were able to knock the fire down very quickly, but it was too late to save the victims — one was found on a bed and the other in the bathroom.”
All five DuBois fire companies responded to the blaze and there were between 125 to 150 men and women firefighters at the scene.
“On behalf of the DuBois Volunteer Fire Department, I would like to say that our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and especially the victims’ families,” said Suplizio. “This is such a tragedy for them and our community. It’s times like these that everyone has to pull together and make us stronger.”
It was noted that Corona was a former firefighter in New York City on Sept. 11, 2001, and helped clean up the aftermath.
The fire is believed to have started in the second floor bedroom. State police fire marshals were called to the scene to investigate.
On Tuesday, state police fire marshal Greg Agosti said the cause remains under investigation though it is not believed to be suspicious in nature.
A damage estimate was unavailable but fire damage was contained to the second floor. DuBois EMS also responded to the scene.
The American Red Cross is providing some assistance for next of kin.