Updated: 10-14-2003 03:18:24 PM

Fire in Rural Pennsylvania Home Kills Seven

Associated Press

MAPLETON DEPOT, Pa. (AP) -- Fire broke out in a rural home, killing two adults and five children in what appeared to be an accidental blaze, authorities said Tuesday.

Police said they had not determined the cause of the fire, but said it appeared to be an accident.

The victims were identified Tuesday as Kevin Dean Brechbiel, 31, and Anita Patrice Mayo, 34. Also killed were Brechbiel's daughters, Dexie, 11; Kayla, 9; and Abby, 7; and 3-year-old twin sons, Justin and Jason.

Police said they did not know when the fire broke out, but the last time the family was known to be safe was around 8 p.m. Sunday.

A relative went to the home, about 150 miles west-northwest of Philadelphia, around noon on Monday and got no answer, police said. She returned with another relative around 6 p.m., noticed that there was smoke damage on the windows and singed curtains, Trooper David White said. The two broke a window, determined there had been fatalities and called for help.

Floodlights lit up the scene early Tuesday outside the home, which had a three-piece swing set and tetherball set in the yard. Visibly upset relatives and neighbors gathered along the lane off Route 655 that led to the house on the hill above.