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5 Brothers Die in Fire; Six Other Members of Family Escape Hazleton Blaze

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5 Brothers Die in Fire; Six Other Members of Family Escape Hazleton Blaze

Posted: 1357507107000
Classification: Obituary
Surnames: Gaizick, Zunski, Stank, Foderaro, Marconi
Reading, PA Eagle, June 6, 1949

5 Brothers Die in Fire
Six Other Members of Family Escape Hazleton Blaze

Hazleton, June 6 (AP)

Five brothers, ranging in age from six months to 11 years, died yesterday in a fire that roared through their West Hazleton Home.

The coroner's office said the little boys' deaths were caused by asphyxiation and third-degree burns.

The five -- sons of Steven Gaizick, a coal miner -- were identified as Joseph, 11; Richard, five; Leo, three; Thomas, two, and Donald, six months.

When firemen were finally able to enter the Gaizick home, they found one of the brothers face down on the floor of the boys' bedroom. On each of the beds were the boys, clinging to each other in death.

The youngest, Donald, was still clutching a nippled soda pop bottle containing milk.

Parents Injured

Gaizick, his wife, and another son, Robert, seven, were injured in the blaze. Three other children -- Aloysius, 15; Joanne, 12, and Eleanor, 17 -- managed to flee unhurt from the first floor.

Another son, Edward, 19, was next door with his wife and fled as his home was damaged by the flames. Three other children were not home at the time.

There was no indication of what caused the flaze that apparently started in the kitchen. Mr. and Mrs. Gaizick and Robert were aroused by a neighbor and ran about the second floor attempting to arouse the others but were forced out onto a small porch. Overcome by smoke, each toppled ten feet to the ground.

The Rev. Stanislaus Kalinowski was summoned to administer the last rites of the Roman Catholic Church for the five little boys.

Pittsburgh PA Post-Gazette, June 6, 1949

Five Small Children Die in Fire Near Hazelton

Brothers Lose Lives as Home Burns; Father, Mother, Sixth Boy Badly Hurt

Hazleton, Pa., June 5 (AP)

A fire that roared through a West Hazleton home early Sunday killed five small children and critically injured three other persons.

Firemen fought the flames for 45 minutes before bringing them under control. Three of the fire fighters were hurt.

When they could get inside the burned out structure, they found five brothers huddled together in a tiny bedroom. The coroner's office said death was due to asphyxiation and third degree burns.

Aged 11 Years to 6 Months

The dead children, all sons of Steven Gaizick, a hard coal miner, were identified as Joseph, 11; Richard, 5; Leo, 3; Thomas, 2; and Donald, 6 months.

Injured critically were Gaizick, his wife and another son, Robert, seven. The Gaizick couple had 14 children.

The home in which the Gaizicks lived was wrecked by the flames. An adjoining house also was damaged and the residents forced to flee.

The flames were noticed by neighbors shortly after midnight. Mrs. Dominick Foderaro hurried into the Gaizick house to arouse the residents, but she was beaten back by the flames. Two sisters and a brother, sleeping on the first floor ran to safety out the front door.

Gaizick, his wife and Robert ran about on the second floor trying to arouse the others, but were forced to a front window for air.

Eight Children at home

The fire apparently started in the kitchen after all the members of the family were asleep. There was no indication of what started the blaze.

Eight of the Gaizick's children were in the house at the time of the fire. Edward, 19, was able to flee from the adjoining hme that was damaged. He is married to the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Stack, who reside in the damaged house.

Those who escaped from the first floor of the Gaizick home were Aloysius, 15; Joanne, 12, and Eleanor, 17.

Mrs. Clementine Marconi, 21, the eldest child, lives in another city. Steven, Jr., 20, and Clara, 16, were away from home when the fire broke out.

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