by Kristen Johanson
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Neighbors of Theodore and Barbara Fine are still in shock over the couple’s tragic death.READ MORE: Pennsylvania US Senate Race Between Republicans Mehmet Oz, Dave McCormick Too Close To Call
The Fines, both 58, died early Saturday morning after a fire broke out at their house on the 600 block of Cedar Lane in Morton.
Emergency crews were called to the scene around 5 a.m. for reports of a fire in the back of a house.
“They located the victims directly behind the front door inside the house, but due to the extensive heat and fire that was coming out of the front door they were unable to effect the rescue attempt at that time,” said Morton-Rutledge Fire Chief, Dean Kemp.READ MORE: John Fetterman Wins Democratic Pennsylvania Primary For Senate, AP Projects
Authorities continue to investigate the exact cause of the flames but officials say a preliminary investigation points to a propane meat smoker being used on the deck in preparation of a party.
Neighbors say the homeowners were very “security-minded,” and that their lock required a key from the inside to get out. They also say Theodore was a talented chef and the couple, who just celebrated 35 years of marriage were as good of neighbors as they come.
The Fines were also very active in their Delaware County community. They owned Slack’s Hoagie Shack on Baltimore Pike and ran a catering company.
“Great people to work for. Very good-hearted,” said one of their employees, Rocky Danghi. “[They’d] give you the shirt off their back. They always gave to the community — to the [Springfield] soccer team, the football team, lacrosse team…always donating.”MORE NEWS: Phillies Return Home After Road Trip With 3-0 Loss To Padres
Kemp called the event “tragic.” He warns others to avoid cooking on decks or anywhere closer than 25-30 feet from a residence.