Remains of four victims found in fire-ravaged West Chester nursing home [updated]

Firefighters at the scene of a fire at the the Barclay Friends Senior Living Community in West Chester, Pa., Friday, Nov. 17, 2017.

Firefighters at the scene of a fire at the the Barclay Friends Senior Living Community in West Chester, Pa., Friday, Nov. 17, 2017. (Matt Rourke/AP Photo)

Investigators have found the remains of all four elderly residents missing since a huge fire gutted a nursing home in West Chester last week.

The four lived at the Barclay Friends Senior Living Community, which burned in a five-alarm inferno last Thursday.

Investigators located the remains of two victims Tuesday while excavating the south wing. Recovery efforts continued Wednesday in the south wing where investigators believe the fire started. That’s where the other two bodies were found, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

These victim were transported from the scene by the Chester County coroner, and the families of the four missing residents were notified by West Chester Police Chief Scott Bohn.

The dead have been identified as a 92-year-old man, his 89-year-old wife, and two  women, ages 93 and 85. Twenty-seven residents also were injured in the fire.

First responders and neighbors managed to evacuate 133 residents and 15 staff during the overnight blaze.

 

“The thoughts and prayers of the men and women of ATF are with the families of the victims during this difficult time,” ATF Special Agent in Charge Donald Robinson said Tuesday night. “Their losses only strengthen our resolve to provide answers to them as a result of our investigation of this tragedy.”

Besides the ATF, investigators from the Pennsylvania State Police and the Chester County fire marshal’s office have spent days sifting through the charred rubble of the sprawling complex on North Franklin Street. Workers using a large crane and other excavating equipment began removing large sections of fire debris early Tuesday.

The fire’s cause remains undetermined.

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