Fire marshal: DuBois fire that killed 2 caused by man falling asleep with lit cigarette

Local News

DUBOIS, Pa. (WTAJ) — Two people died in a house fire on Spring Street in DuBois Monday night.

Firefighters say they were called just before 10:00 p.m., and when they arrived, at least one person was trapped in the house.

The two people killed have been identified as Louis Corona, 57, and Wendy Hibbert, 54.

The cause of the fire has been ruled accidental. The fire marshal says Corona fell asleep with a cigarette in bed.

Corona woke up after the bed was on fire and attempted to put the fire out with two fire extinguishers, but failed.

The fire marshal said Corona was able to get the bedroom door closed but succumbed to smoke inhalation in the hallway.

Hibbert tried to help put out the fire but couldn’t escape due to the smoke conditions, the fire marshal said.

“We heard there were victims inside, so we made an attack on the fire as we did multiple searches for the victims,” City Manager and Acting Fire Chief, Herm Suplizio. “We had fire apparatus and fire personnel on scene within 30 seconds, which is very good for a volunteer fire company. No water issues, nothing like that.”

“Wendy Hibbert and Louis Corona were two very amazing and upstanding people,” Hibbert’s niece Hayley Knepper said. “They were always very good to me and compassionate. They let me stay here whenever I needed to. They were very loving people and it’s absolutely tragic.”

Corona was a firefighter in New York City on September 11, 2001 and helped clean up the aftermath.

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