The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

April 4, 2014

Counselors available Saturday for pupils after fatal fire

By Karen Blackledge
The Daily Item

— DANVILLE — Counseling will be available for parents, students, staff and community members from 9 a.m. to noon today at Danville Middle School following the deaths of students in a fire Friday.

In a letter to district families, Danville Superintendent Cheryl Latorre wrote: “It is with great sadness that we inform you of the death of three children of our school community who died on April 4, 2014, due to a fire in their home.”

Brothers Daniel Gage Dissinger, 13; Gavin Arthur Dissinger, 7; and Arthur Willis Dissinger, 2, died early Friday in a fire at their home at 60 S. Smith Road in Rush Township, Northumberland County.

“A sudden loss like this can have an effect on students. For that reason, we hope that you will listen to your child as well as discuss with them their feelings and reactions to this tragedy. Sudden death is always painful to understand and your child may experience signs of stress such as anxiety, loss of sleep and fear,” Latoree wrote.

“Middle and high school students were informed today and students in kindergarten through grade five will be informed of the sad news on Monday in order for all families to have time to process this tragedy,” she wrote.

“Our administrative team and guidance staff have prepared all staff to address student needs and concerns. We have district counselors, the local ministerium and counselors from local school districts assisting our students and staff,” she said.

Support will continue throughout the week for students and staff.