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Police: 2 firefighters die in house fire; body found outside


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TAMAQUA, Pa. – Two firefighters died responding to a home fire in which a body was found outside, but two people living inside the home escaped safely, Pennsylvania State Police said.

The firefighter who died on Wednesday was identified as a member of the New Tripoli Fire Company, said Assistant Chief of Fire Zachary Paris, 36, and Marvin Gruber, 59, Soldier David Beohm.

Another person’s body was found outside a home on a large estate in West Penn Township near Tamaqua in Schuylkill County.

“We have a body in the back, and that’s still part of this whole investigation,” Beohm said.

At a news conference Thursday, Don Smith, Jr., a spokesman for the Lehigh County Media Center, said that two firefighters were trapped while trying to put out the fire and other firefighters. worked quickly to get them out. Smith said they were taken to the hospital and died there.

Officials said the cause of death and details of the funeral arrangements would be announced at a later date.

Paris lives and volunteers in New Tripoli but works as a professional firefighter at the Frederick County Fire and Rescue Service, Maryland. He joined the Frederick County department as a rookie in February and graduated from the fire academy in September.

Survivors include his wife, two daughters, sister and parents.

“There are no words to describe the sadness myself and the members of the Frederick County Fire and Rescue Service are feeling today,” said Fire Chief Tom Coe. “Zach is not only someone who is fulfilling his dream of becoming a professional firefighter, but he is also fulfilling his dream as a family man.”

Gruber has worked at Northampton Community College for 22 years, the past 15 years at the Department of Public Safety.

Keith Morris, the school’s director of public safety, said: “He died a hero in the line of duty, doing what he does best, helping and protecting others while serving. their community selflessly with honor and integrity.

West Penn Township Sheriff James Bonner said two other people – “an uncle and nephew” – lived in the three-story single-family home and were able to escape the fire. He said two other firefighters were being treated for their injuries.

Officials did not release details Thursday regarding the investigation of the dead body on the property, including the identity or cause of death.

They said more than 100 firefighters and officers responded shortly before 4pm. Bonner calls it an active crime scene, with the Pennsylvania State Police and the federal office for Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives assisting with the investigation.

This story has been updated to correct the spelling of Soldier David Beohm’s last name in the second reference.

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