RIVERSIDE — Three brothers died in a two-alarm fire that quickly engulfed their home of one week around 1:20 a.m. Friday in Rush Township, Northumberland County.
Northumberland County Coroner James F. Kelley identified the victims as Daniel Gage Dissinger, 13; Gavin Arthur Dissinger, 7; and Arthur Willis Dissinger, 2.
The boys were reported to be sleeping at the time. Another brother and sister were able to escape. One of the six siblings — a 4½-year-old girl — was spending the night with friends.
Sister Kristyn, 14, a student at Columbia-Montour Area Vo-Tech, and brother Ryan, 10, a third-grader at Liberty Valley Intermediate School, ran from the two-story white farm house to a neighbor’s home to report the fire.
Boys in sixth, first grade
Daniel was a sixth-grader at Danville Middle School and Gavin, a first-grader at Danville Primary School.
Kelley pronounced all three boys dead at the scene from “thermal injuries” and ruled their deaths accidental.
The boys were found in the basement where everything in the house had collapsed, fire officials said.
Although State Police Fire Marshal Kirk Renn, in a statement, listed the origin as undetermined with the investigation continuing, one of the property owners said kerosene lanterns may have been the cause.
“It’s just such a tragedy,” said Danville schools Superintendent Cheryl Latorre.
District collecting clothing
The district is offering counseling from 9 a.m. to noon today at Danville Middle School. The district is also collecting food and clothing for the family. Good Samaritan Mission Center will be assisting the family with housing needs, Latorre said.
The children’s mother, Christine Dissinger, was at work at the time of the blaze.
She and her children had moved to the house, at 60 S. Smith Road and off Patton Road, a week ago.
The farmhouse was part of 181 acres owned by Lloyd Zimmerman, also of Rush Township, according to his wife, Verna.