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2 firefighters die after Pa. home burns, 1 body found outside

Zachary Paris, 36, an assistant fire chief with the New Tripoli Fire Company in Lehigh County, was one of two firefighters who died while fighting a home fire in Schuylkill County, Pa. on Wednesday. Photo courtesy of Career Firefighters Association Facebook
Zachary Paris, 36, an assistant fire chief with the New Tripoli Fire Company in Lehigh County, was one of two firefighters who died while fighting a home fire in Schuylkill County, Pa. on Wednesday. Photo courtesy of Career Firefighters Association Facebook

Dec. 8 (UPI) -- Two Pennsylvania volunteer firefighters died while battling a house fire in West Penn Township in Schuylkill County while a third body was found outside the home, officials said.

Zachary Paris, 36, an assistant fire chief with the New Tripoli Fire Company in Lehigh County, and Marvin Gruber, 59, the assistant chief of Northampton Community College's Department of Public Safety, died as a result of the blaze on Wednesday afternoon.

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Paris and Gruber died after emergency crews transported them to a local hospital.

"Along with the house fire, there was a body located on this property, behind the property, so that is still an active investigation on how the person died, who that person was," said Pennsylvania State Police Trooper David Beohm.

Authorities said the body was found about 100 yards behind the house, which sits on a 20-acre plot of land. Police are probing if that body was directly involved with the fire. Firefighters said the cause of the fire remained under investigation.

The West Penn Township police chief confirmed late Wednesday that his department is treating the site as an active crime scene.

The Career Firefighters Association of Frederick County, Md., said on a Facebook post that Paris joined the Frederick County Division of Fire and Rescue Service on Feb. 28. He graduated on Sept. 10 and was assigned to the Green Valley Fire Station.

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