Coroner confirms mother and child dead in Schuylkill County house fire

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HEGINS TOWNSHIP, SCHUYLKILL COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — A mother and child are dead after a fire in Schuylkill County Saturday morning.

Flames broke out at a home in Hegins Township along East Main Street, trapping the two victims inside the house.

According to a family member, the victims were Tawnya Bowman and her four-year-old son Daniel. Their family and neighbors are still in shock from the loss.

“My mom didn’t even live to see me turn 21, man,” Tianna Merwine of Tremont said.

Merwine got a heartbreaking call from her cousin Saturday morning.

“He called me and was like ‘Nana’s house is on fire. Your mom and little brother didn’t make it out’ and I was like ‘don’t play with me, are you serious?’ And he was like’ I’m not kidding’,” Merwine said.

Merwine tells Eyewitness News her little brother, Daniel, would have turned 5 in June. She says he was found on his bed.

“I’m guessing he was just sleeping, which is great because he didn’t suffer. My mom was found in the hallway going over to my Nan’s so I am guessing she was trying to scream or something,” Merwine said.

Mary Ellen Klebe lives across the street. She heard about the fire, but didn’t think it would be so close to home.

“I think I’m in shock. I know there was a small child and that breaks my heart. I have memories with the house, I lived there many many years ago. So there’s some connections,” Klebe said.

Both Merwine and Klebe say Saturday’s fire made them realize people should not take their family for granted.

“Makes me wanna get on the phone and call them and say hey… I love you,” Klebe said.

“Don’t take anything for granted. Nothing. Not any time with family. If you’re not talking, reach out and talk to your family because it’s really all you have. The last time I saw my mom she gave me a hug and kiss and told me she loved me,” Merwine said.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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