BLOSSBURG - An 11-year-old girl was killed and five houses either were destroyed or damaged in the 100 block of Main Street in an early Sunday morning fire.
Gia Carlone, daughter of Deb Carlone, of 144 Main St., and Eugene Carlone, of Tioga, died after she went back into the burning second floor of the duplex she shared with her mother and two siblings because she was afraid to jump off the roof of an addition, Blossburg fire Chief Shawn Carey said.
"From what I understand, she went back inside and closed the window," Carey said.
LONNIE FROST/Sun-Gazette Correspondent
A duplex at 144 Main St. in Blossburg burns out of control Sunday morning.
Tioga County Deputy Coroner Lisa Lindquist said an autopsy will be performed today at Lehigh Valley Medical Center in Allentown.
Carlone's siblings, Orianna Choplosky, 20, and Jonas Choplosky, 18, came out and jumped off the roof, Carey said. Their mother also was able to escape the burning structure.
Orianna Choplosky was transported to Williamsport Regional Medical Center for an arm burn, he said.
The duplex is owned by Deb and Bill Boyce, who lived in the rear apartment.
Four families were left homeless as the fast-moving fire jumped from house to house on a block that Carey said he has been concerned about for some time.
"Every time I drove by there I would think if one of those ever goes, they all will go," he said.
Carey said he lives just up the street and knew as soon as he looked out his window he would need to put out a second alarm. By the time he arrived on scene, he said, the Boyce house was fully involved.
The other families left homeless were the Boyces; Florence McNeal and her son, Patrick, who lived in the house south of the Boyce house; and Deb Boyce's daughter, Desiree Anderson, her fiance and four children, who lived in the house north of the Boyces.
"There was one more house that sustained water and smoke damage," Carey said.
Ken and Maggie Dorn and their daughter, Melanie Purcell, lived in that house, which may be fixable, he added.
Firefighters from Blossburg, Liberty, Mansfield, Wellsboro, Middlebury, Galeton, Canton, Tioga, Lawrenceville, Westfield, Chatham, Clymer, Hepburnville, Ralston, Trout Run and Morris responded to the 6:45 a.m. fire.
Although Carey said he "started releasing people" around noon, Blossburg stayed on scene all day to assist a state police fire marshal in trying to determine a cause, which remains undetermined.
The houses were insured, he said, and the victims are staying with relatives in the area.
The Red Cross and Salvation Army are assisting, and private collections are under way for the families, Carey said.