NEW TRIPOLI, LEHIGH COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Hearts are heavy in Lehigh County after state police and first responders held a press conference providing us with more information as to what happened in the deadly fire Wednesday afternoon.
Officials say dozens of fire departments from three counties responded to a West Penn Township home along Clamtown Road just before 4 p.m.
The active scene turned deadly when officials say two firefighters became trapped inside and a “mayday” call was activated.
The pair, 36-year-old New Tripoli Assistant Fire Chief Zachary Paris and 59-year-old New Tripoli Firefighter Marvin Gruber, were rescued from the home and emergency medical care was administered.
Don Smith, from the Lehigh County Communication Center, says they were taken to St. Luke’s Miner’s Campus in Coaldale where they both succumbed to their injuries.
For the full press conference watch the video below:
Paris has served with the company since 2010 and Gruber has served since 2020.
“The community fire company of new tripoli is deeply saddened for the tragic loss of their two fire members in the line of duty. These members made the ultimate sacrifice for their community and country. They are truly heroes,” Smith read on behalf of the New Tripoli Fire Company.
“On behalf of the Pennsylvania State Police, our thoughts and prayers are with the New Tripoli Fire Department members, the New Tripoli Community, the families of the fallen, and everyone who’s been affected by this tragedy,” said Trooper Nathan Branosky, PSP Troop M Public Information Officer.
The scene in Schuylkill County is still very active as police and fire marshals continue their investigation as to what caused the fire.
A third person was also found dead behind the property Wednesday. They have been identified as Christopher Kammerdiener, a relative of the property owner.