Poconos Coal

Deadly Luzerne fire being investigated as arson

Police said 2 boys died in Wednesday's fire

LAFLIN, Pa. - Authorities in Luzerne County said a fire that killed two boys in Laflin borough is being investigated as an arson.

Pennsylvania State Police said they've identified a person of interest in connection to Wednesday's fatal fire on Oakwood Drive that killed a 16-year-old boy and a 12-year-old boy.

Authorities said the person is in custody in Luzerne County jail on unrelated charges.

Firefighters with the Laflin Fire Dept. were dispatched to the Oakwood Drive home about 7:15 p.m. Wednesday. Firefighters arrived to find fire at the rear of the home, and two firefighters entered the house to search for residents, according to the fire department.

Firefighters said they found one resident within three minutes of their arrival and that the two other residents were later found on the second floor.

The Luzerne County Coroner's Office pronounced 16-year-old Erik Dupree and 12-year-old Devon Major dead at the scene. The coroner has ruled the cause of death carbon monoxide poisoning due to smoke inhalation. The manner of death is pending.

Paramedics revived an eight-year-old boy who was rescused from the home. He was taken to Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center for treatment before being flown to a burn center.

The state police major case team and fire marshal are investigating the incident. Authorities said they believe there are no public safety concerns.

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