Dryer Malfunction Deemed Cause Of PA Fire That Killed 3 Children, Adult

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SPRINGBORO, Pa. (Erie News Now) – Investigators determined a dryer malfunction started the fire that killed an adult and three children in Pennsylvania last week.

The update was provided by Deputy State Police Fire Marshal David Pifer on Wednesday.

The malfunction caused the dryer to catch fire at the Springboro home Friday evening, which then spread to the surrounding area and stairs. This caused three children on the second floor and one adult on the first floor to be trapped.

Wiring in the home was not up to code, according to an investigator. A family member said the breakers would sometimes trip if the washer and dryer were running at the same time.

The fire claimed the lives of 65-year-old Hilda Eberhart and her grandsons, William Robson, 14; Matthew Robson, 10; and great-granddaughter Destiny Robson, who was just 6 months old.

Two others injured in the fire remain hospitalized. One is in critical condition.

The fire broke out Friday around 7 p.m., but it burned so hot crews had to fight it from outside.

Springboro firefighters were assisted by teams from eight other fire and rescue companies from Crawford and Erie Counties.


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