SCHWENKSVILLE, Pa. (CBS) – A local community is heartbroken after two young boys die in a house fire but many are showing support as a GoFundMe page has already raised more than $172,000 for the Lukens family.
Teddy bears, notes and flowers sit in front of the house in Schwenksville, which belongs to Montgomery County Sheriff’s Deputy Bryan Lukens.
Flames broke out at the home early Wednesday morning.
Lukens along with his wife and daughter all survived with injuries.
However, the two boys, 11 year-old Bryan Jr. and 6-year-old Parker, were found dead inside the bedroom they shared.
The Pennsylvania State Police Fire Marshal determined this fire to be ACCIDENTAL in nature. The cause of the fire was an electrical failure of an extension cord plugged into a space heater. The origin of the fire was the porch area of the residence.
Fire crews were called to the home on the 900 block of Summit Avenue, around 5:30 a.m. Wednesday.
Pennsylvania State Police Spokesman Timothy Green says three people – a mother, father and daughter – were able to get out of the home.
The Lukens and his 9-year-old daughter were airlifted from the scene and the mother was rushed to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
Lukens remains hospitalized with injuries in the burn unit at Lehigh Valley Hospital. His wife Tracy and daughter Soffia have been released from Pottstown Hospital.
No word on what started the fire. It remains under investigation.
“He’d sit out front and if I was out gardening, he would always look over and wave and say hi. He’d always you know be very talkative,” said Sheryl Vasily, who lived near the victims.
The Central Perkiomen Youth Association says they will plan activities to help support the Lukens beginning with this Saturday’s Pancake Breakfast with Santa. 100 percent of the proceeds from the fundraiser will be donated to the Lukens family.
The Perkiomen Valley School District says they will have additional staff and resources to help students and families coping with the loss.
“As the situation unfolded this morning, Schwenksville’s faculty and staff came together to provide support and assistance for any students who came in with knowledge of the fire. That support continued to build over the course of the day as we learned more details. I would like to assure you that the support of counselors, teachers and other professionals will continue in the days ahead as our community processes this news,” said Superintendent Barbara A. Russell, Ed.D. in a statement on Wednesday.
The school provided the following links: