By Natasha Brown
POTTSTOWN, Pennsylvania (KYW) — A family was killed as flames swept through their Pottstown home over the weekend. We’re hearing from the football coach of the youngest victim.
A fast-moving fire that broke out overnight Sunday claimed the lives of an entire family.
“Firefighters arrived and they had heavy smoke conditions and heavy fire in the rear of the house. Initial reports were the people were still in there,” Pottstown Fire Chief Frank Hand said.
Firefighters quickly tried to get to the victims — a mother, father, and their 12-year-old son. All were sleeping in their bedrooms in the home in the unit block of East 5th Street in Pottstown.
“They found the victims on the second floor. They were able to get two of them out fairly quickly and the third one they didn’t find right away,” Hand said.
Forty-eight-year-old Joseph and 47-year-old Bernadette Norton died in the hospital. Twelve-year-old Tyler Norton never made it out of the burning home.
Their loss leaves a gaping hole in their community.
Coach and CEO Rocco Fusco fought back tears reflecting on Tyler’s seven-year involvement with the Lower Perk Longhorns football team.
“Always had a smile on his face. A 13-year-old kid — I had the luxury of eating dinner with him two years ago at the scholar banquet. When I say scholar, this kid, school was first,” Fusco said.
There’s been an outpouring of support on social media, community members finding ways to make sure this type of tragedy never happens again.
“Fire prevention, right, make sure that no matter what happens and what the outcome is for this tragedy, make sure that we all know smoke detectors are a big thing and make sure that our children know,” Fusco said.
Fusco says the team will retire Tyler’s jersey, always keeping his memory alive.
“He was a player on the field, a kid in the classroom and just an unbelievable friend,” Fusco said.
A candlelight vigil will be held in the next few days to honor the family. They were very involved in the community.
The fire department is investigating the exact cause of the fire.
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