Police release name of woman who died in Newport Township fire

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NEWPORT TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) – A woman and her pet dog are dead after a fire in Luzerne County. The investigation into the cause of the fire is in the hands of a state police fire marshal.

Vern Treat sent this image to Eyewitness News of a fire that took a woman’s life Friday in Newport Township, Luzerne County.

The fire occurred at 322 Old Newport Street around 7:30. We spoke to the son of the fire victims who says his father tried to rescue his mother, who ran back into the burning home to save their dog, but the flames and smoke were too intense.

“I heard there was entrapment that of course scared me, worried about the people,” said a neighbor.

That’s how a neighbor describes the early moments of the deadly fire. The neighbor did not want to appear on camera but tells Eyewitness News it all began at around 7:30 Friday morning.

“I opened my front door to get my paper and that’s when I saw black smoke billowing out. I heard the address on my scanner, of course I looked out that’s all I saw,” said the neighbor.

The son of the fire victims, John McKenzie, who also did not want to appear on camera tells Eyewitness News that his father John McKenzie, who he says is 79-years-old and his mother 77-year-old Diane McKenzie lived in the home.

He says his father told him that early this morning he smelled smoke and found an electrical chord plugged in behind a couch in a first floor family room was hot to the touch. He unplugged the chord, and his father went back upstairs only to smell smoke again, came downstairs and saw thick smoke.

He and his wife ran out of a side door, but the younger McKenzie says his mother ran back into the burning home to save their dog. She never came back out. His father tried to get into the home but the flames and smoke were too intense.

A state police fire marshal spent much of the day searching for the cause of the blaze. The marshal is asking anyone with information about this fire to call state police or Newport Township Police.

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