Fire claimed the life of an 11-year-old boy this morning on Perkins Pond Road in Berlin Township.

Fire claimed the life of an 11-year-old boy this morning on Perkins Pond Road in Berlin Township.

Beach Lake Fire Chief Tony Franklin said the boy’s father and older brother managed to escape the burning home and were trying to go back in for the younger child. The Chief says the father and older son were taken to the hospital by ambulance for treatment of minor burns. He says the mother and daughter arrived on scene and had to be taken to the hospital as well.

“They have my sympathy,” said Glenn Voss, a neighbor across the street. Voss said he and his wife were sound asleep when their doorbell rang around 2 a.m. Voss says he opened the door to find his neighbor’s frantic teenage son telling him that their house was on fire and his brother was still inside. 

He says he grabbed a coat for the boy, who was still dressed for bed and was barefoot, and they both ran back over. Voss says flames were shooting out of the south-side of the house and one of the windows. “There was nothing you could do. I heard the father at the other side of the house yelling for his son to wake up. I couldn’t see the father, the smoke was so thick,” Voss said, tears welling in his eyes. “You just feel so helpless,” he said.

Chief Franklin, who lives less than a mile down the road, was on scene in minutes, after being toned out at 2:21 a.m. for a structure fire with possible entrapment. “When I got here, it was already through the roof and through the windows,” he said.

Five fire departments and two ambulance companies responded with over 100 personnel on scene. Responding fire departments included: Beach Lake, Honesdale, Seelyville, Welcome Lake, and White Mills. Tusten Ambulance and Honesdale EMS were also on scene.

“When something like that happens, it hits close to home,” the Chief said. “Everyone of us people got kids at home, too,” he said. 

State Police Fire Marshall’s Unit and the coroner’s office were investigating the cause of the fire, though it appeared to be accidental, Chief Franklin said. The coroner’s office said they were not ready to release any information.

Fire and ambulance personnel were still on scene at 7 a.m.