MCKEES ROCKS, Pa. – A 5-month-old boy, his grandmother and his uncle died in a fire on christmas Eve in Pennsylvania, authorities said.
The fire was reported shortly after 6 a.m. Saturday in a two-storey house 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 being investigated.
“The baby was a night at grandma’s’, the next thing you know, God took him christmas Eve,” said Gayle Lawrence, a friend of the family. “It is difficult to get your head around.”
Jerris Glikis, 23, who said she was the boy’s aunt, remembered him as a “bubbly, happy, always laughing.”
“They are just great people and they shouldn’t have suffered,” she said.
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Justin Smith, a cousin of Linda Tschudi, who lived next door, said he was awakened by firemen banging on the door and knew his 4-year-old son and grandmother to the safety out the back door.
Smith said Linda Tschudi had offered to babysit while the mother of the baby went out to do some last-minute christmas shopping.
His cousin Michael was working in a nearby pizzeria, he said.
“He was a good guy. He always had something funny to say,” he said.