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Pennsylvania firefighters killed

WEST PENN TOWNSHIP, Pa (AP) — Pennsylvania State Police say two firefighters died responding to a house fire where a body was found, while two people who lived in the home got out safely.

The firefighters who died were identified as members of the New Tripoli Fire Company, Assistant Fire Chief Zachary Paris, 36, and Marvin Gruber, 59, Trooper David Beohm said.

The body of another person was discovered outside the house on the property, which sits on a large plot of land in West Penn Township near Tamaqua in Schuylkill County.

“We have a body in the back, and that’s all still part of this whole investigation,” Beohm said.

At a news conference Thursday, Don Smith, Jr., a spokesman for the Lehigh County Communications Center, said the two firefighters became trapped while trying to put out the blaze, and other firefighters worked quickly to get them out. They were rushed to the hospital where they died from their injuries, Smith said.

Officials said causes of death and details of funeral arrangements would be released at a later date.

West Penn Township Police Chief James Bonner said two other people — “an uncle and nephew” — lived in the three-story single-family home and were able to escape the fire. He said two other firefighters were treated for injuries.

Officials did not release details Thursday related to the investigation of the dead body on the property, including the identity or cause of death.

They said more than 100 firefighters and officers responded shortly before 4 p.m. Bonner called it an active crime scene, with Pennsylvania State Police and the federal bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms assisting the investigation.