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Timeline of tragedy: What we know about the fire, acts of violence connecting communities in mourning

A deadly house fire and a fundraiser that ended in violence connect two communities in Columbia and Luzerne Counties.

BERWICK, Pa. — Over the last two weeks, communities in Columbia and Luzerne Counties have been united in grief after a series of shocking events. 

Here is a timeline of the events that have taken place:


August 5

Ten people died when fire destroyed a home in Nescopeck, Luzerne County, early Friday morning.

Seven adults and three children were killed. Many were members of the same family. Their ages ranged from 5 to 79.

Relatives of the victims were among firefighters called to fight the blaze.

August 6

Community organizations and businesses organized fundraisers to help the families and those affected by the deadly fire.

August 7

The Luzerne County coroner confirmed that the victims of the fire died from smoke inhalation.

August 13

  • Intoxicology Department bar and restaurant in Berwick organized a fundraiser for fire victims beginning at noon on Saturday in their outdoor space.
  • After 6 p.m. on Saturday, Adrian Sura Reyes drove his car into the crowd gathered at the restaurant, leaving one person dead and 17 injured, according to state police. Sura Reyes then drove away from the scene. The victim was identified as 50-year-old Rebecca Reese of Wilkes-Barre.
  • Of the 17 injured, 15 were taken to area hospitals.
  • After 6:30 p.m., Sura Reyes was arrested at a home on Ridgewood Avenue in Nescopeck. Troopers believe he hit his mother, Rosa Reyes, 56, with his car and beat her with a hammer.
  • At 7:30 p.m., Rosa Reyes was declared dead by the coroner's office. Her death was ruled a homicide from multiple traumatic injuries.

August 14

Adrian Sura Reyes was charged early Sunday with two counts of criminal homicide and is locked up in Columbia County. 

"I didn't ram them," Sura Reyes told troopers, "I just ran them over."

He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Monday, August 29.

August 15

Once again, people in the area are beginning to organize help for victims.

As of Monday, 4 of the 12 victims taken to Geisinger Medical Center Danville remain in critical condition, 3 remain in fair condition and 5 patients have been treated and released. 1 patient was treated and released from Geisinger Bloomsburg Hospital and 2 patients were treated and released from Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center.

August 16

Demolition crews spent the day along First Street in Nescopeck, cleaning away the remaining debris from the fire.

Three children and seven adults passed away in the fire, ranging in age from five to 79 years old.

State police are still investigating what caused the fatal fire in Nescopeck.

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