Watch CBS News

Four children and one adult dead after fire in Jeannette, Pennsylvania

Jeannette fire kills 4 kids, 1 adult while 3 other family members rescued
Jeannette fire kills 4 kids, 1 adult while 3 other family members rescued 03:56

JEANNETTE, Pa. (KDKA) -- Four children and their dad are dead following a late-night house fire in Jeannette, according to the Westmoreland County coroner. 

There were eight people, two parents and their six small children, inside the home on Guy Street when the fire broke out around midnight on Wednesday. 

The coroner identified those who died as 27-year-old Tyler King, 7-year-old Kyson John, 6-year-old Kinzleigh John, 3-year-old Keagan John and 1-month-old Korbyn John. 

A father and four of his children were killed in a fire at a home in Jeannette.  (Photo: KDKA)

Mom Miranda John, 10-year-old Kayden John and 1-year-old Kash John were rescued. According to family members, the mom is in stable condition and the two boys are in the ICU in critical condition. 

"It's a very sad night here in Jeannette," Fire Chief Bill Frye said. "Please keep the family and the first responders that responded tonight in your thoughts and prayers in the coming days and weeks here in the city."

Frye says that approximately eight people were reported to be inside the house when the fire broke out. A fire lieutenant was at the scene within a minute of being dispatched and found the house already well-involved.  

Chief Frye says that firefighters had some challenges with water supply from a nearby hydrant. 

"Due to some complications, we were unable to get to everybody due to the progression of the fire on arrival," he said.

Several people are unaccounted for in a deadly house fire along Guy Street in Jeannette. KDKA Photojournalist Brian Smithmyer

A neighbor said he tried to help the family but the fire was just too intense.

"I came outside on the porch and the whole front of the house was on fire," neighbor Jack Mull said. "I screamed at my daughter to call 911 and ran over and tried to get in downstairs but it was just too hot and too many flames."

The fire also spread to the house next door. People living in that home were able to evacuate without any injuries. 

"The heat was so intense, it was fully engulfed. It was so bad all that's left is the chimney. The neighboring house is a total loss also," said Jeannette Mayor Curtis J. Antoniak.

Deaths of young children are among the worst cases first responders can encounter. It's something these men and women will have to live with the rest of their lives.

"People don't understand with these first responders, it's not an 8-hour-a-day job. They go home, they bring it with them, they can't turn it off," said Antoniak. 

Video provided to KDKA shows massive flames shooting from a home along Guy Street in Jeannette where multiple people are unaccounted for. Submitted

Mull, the neighbor, said his grandchildren played with the family's children.

"I've been here 14 years, Mull said. "My granddaughters live with me and they play with their kids. They're just good people."

Firefighters at the scene are working with the state police fire marshal to sort through the debris and investigate the cause. 

The Red Cross will be assisting anyone who needs help. 

Jeannette's fire chief says he's unsure if the home had working smoke detectors.

Jeannette community in mourning after deadly fire 02:18

Family remembers 5 killed in Jeannette house fire

Family members are asking for prayers and strength as they mourn their loved ones.

Miranda John's cousin talked to KDKA-TV on Wednesday. Natasha Reaggle took time to remember each victim. 

"A mother lost four of her beloved children and the love of her life. For the last 12 years," she said, "Miranda and Tyler shared a love that most dream of. Tyler was an amazing, kind-hearted person who always had a smile on his face."

"Kinsley was a spunky spirit and a spitting image of her mother," Reaggle added. "A small but mighty and loved being a cheerleader. Kyson would melt you with a look, a child of few words but said the most. He had an artistic spirit and loved drawing. Keagan was a spitfire and a daddy's boy who loved dinosaurs and fighting with his cousin, Laya. Corbin was only 1 month but was the piece that truly completed the family."

Now, they're asking for prayers as they work through this tragedy.

"We're all just trying to rally around each other," Reaggle said. "We're just praying for both the ones that we lost and the ones that are still here. Just trying to stick together through this."

Remembering the victims of the Jeannette house fire 02:26

Jeannette City School District and community mourn after fire

The Jeannette City School District has sent a letter to families, acknowledging the "heartbreaking loss" following the overnight fire. The district said it lost multiple members of the school and community. 

"It is with profound sadness and a heavy heart that I send this message in the aftermath of the tragic fire that has deeply affected out city," Superintendent Matthew Jones said. "As you may already be aware, we have lost multiple members of our school district community in this devastating incident. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and loved ones of those who have tragically passed away. Please know that our entire school community stand with the family and friends of those last and we offer our deepest condolences and unwavering support."

District officials say they will bring in counselors and social workers to help the students and staff through their grief.

"In times of adversity, it is our strength, resilience and sense of community that will see us through," Jones said.

A community prayer was held on Wednesday at City Hall. 

Several people unaccounted for in Jeannette house fire 02:17

How to help the survivors of the Jeannette fire

The family says anyone who would like to make clothing donations can do so at Cecilia's Main Street Tattoo Gallery in Ligonier. Monetary donations can be made at the Elliott Community Federal Credit Union in Jeannette under "Jeanette fire survivors."

Donations will be collected at the Jeannette Midget Athletic Association Fieldhouse on Friday from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. If you cannot make it and still want to help, you can call or text 724-237-0847.

For clothing, the sizes of Miranda John and the two surviving boys can be found below. 

Women's clothing and shoes: size medium or large and 7.5 women 

Children's clothing: size medium 7-8 boys, 18-month boy toddler, size 5 diapers

Children's shoes: kids 8 and toddler 3

"You just feel hurt," said Dan Cooper, president of the Jeannette Midget Athletic Association. "You feel their pain and you do your best to try to keep it positive for them."

How to help victims of Jeannette house fire 05:20
View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.