The names of three people who were killed Sunday morning in a North Londonderry Township fire were released Monday by the Dauphin County coroner’s office.
According to a statement from Palmyra Fire Chief David Dugan, the three people who perished in the fire were Paul Garman, 87, Cynthia Weatherholtz, 60, and Kristi Dougherty, 7. Garman, according to the release, was a North Londonderry Township resident, while Weatherholtz and Dougherty were from Swatara Township in Dauphin County.
Three other people were in the home at 16 Patton Road at the time of the early morning fire and were transported to Penn State Hershey Medical Center for treatment.
Lebanon County Department of Emergency Services dispatch logs indicate that calls first came in for a structure fire with entrapped individuals shortly before 1:50 a.m. Sunday morning, Jan. 21. Palmyra Fire Department as well as numerous mutual aid fire departments and emergency medical service units responded to the scene.
“The first arriving fire department units found a one-story residence with heavy fire from the attached garage,” the release explained. “Responders quickly learned that there were a total of six individuals in the home at the time of the fire. Four had safely evacuated the structure with one of those individuals being the 911 caller.”
“After calling 911, the caller reentered the home to try to rescue the two unaccounted for family members. The individual did not come back out of the house and was unaccounted for upon fire department arrival.”
The statement says firefighters “quickly made entry” to search for the three missing people while working to beat down the fire. The three individuals were found “very quickly,” the release says, and turned over to the care of EMS. All six people were treated on the scene by EMS and fire department personnel before being taken to Hershey Medical Center. One family member was transported by Life Lion Aeromedical, the release says.
Three of the family members did not survive injuries sustained in the fire. The surviving three family members “were treated for various types and severity of injuries,” according to the statement.
ABC-27 reported that fire crews had to pump in water due to the lack of hydrants nearby and were fighting the fire for hours Sunday morning. The Pennsylvania State Police fire marshal is investigating the cause of the fire, although the release notes it has already been determined that the home did not have functioning smoke detectors.
North Londonderry Township Police Chief Kevin Snyder told the Lebanon Daily News that the fire began in the garage, but did not comment further on the cause as the investigation continues.
The Daily News report said family members identified Mamie Garman, Brian Newhouse, and another child as the other three people injured in the blaze.
Family members have established a GoFundMe page to raise $25,000 toward the families’ medical and memorial costs. So far, more than $16,000 has been raised.
Questions about this story? Suggestions for a future LebTown article? Reach our newsroom using this contact form and we’ll do our best to get back to you.
Support local journalism.
Already a member? Login here
Free news isn’t cheap. If you value the journalism LebTown provides to the community, then help us make it sustainable by becoming a champion of local news. You can unlock additional coverage for the community by supporting our work with a one-time contribution, or joining as a monthly or annual member. You can cancel anytime.