MCKEES ROCKS, Pa. (AP) — A 5-month-old boy, his grandmother and his uncle died in a fire on Christmas Eve in Pennsylvania, authorities said.
The blaze was reported shortly after 6 a.m. Saturday in a two-story home in Stowe Township, near Pittsburgh. The county medical examiner’s office identified the victims as Linda Tschudi, 50, Michael Tschudi Jr., 29, and 5-month-old Gabriel Glikis.
Fire Marshal Martin Jacobs said the child was found on the second floor and the adults were found at the bottom of the stairs. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
“The baby was spending the night at grandma’s’, next thing you know, God took him Christmas Eve,” said Gayle Lawrence, a friend of the family. “It’s hard to get your head around it.”
Jerris Glikis, 23, who said she was the boy’s aunt, remembered him as “bubbly, happy, always smiling.”
“They’re just amazing people and they shouldn’t have suffered like that,” she said.
Justin Smith, a nephew of Linda Tschudi who lived next door, said he was awakened by firefighters banging on his door and managed to get his 4-year-old son and grandmother to safety out the back door.
Smith said Linda Tschudi had volunteered to babysit while the baby’s mother went out to do some last-minute Christmas shopping.
His cousin Michael worked at a nearby pizza shop, he said.
“He was a good dude. He always had something funny to say,” he said.