A structure fire on Fischler Street Extension in Wellsboro Saturday, March 21, resulted in the death of Brian Cherwinski, 63, of Wellsboro. Two elderly individuals, who owned the property, were also at the scene of the fire. The homeowners were rescued and subsequently transferred to UPMC Wellsboro for treatment.
Wellsboro Fire Department responded to the call of a reported structure fire to a barn on Fischler Street Extension shortly after 2:30 p.m. At the time of dispatch, there was already heavy smoke and flames emanating from the barn. When firefighters arrived, the building was heavily engulfed and had spread to a residential structure about 60 feet away, where the two elderly individuals were located.
Firefighters were able to contain the flames at the household and save the building from total loss. The building did sustain damage to the outside and an upstairs bedroom.
Cherwinski was found deceased outside the barn from massive thermal trauma, said Tioga County Cororner James Daugherty. It is believed Cherwinski escaped from the barn and requested a fire extinguisher before returning to the barn to rescue a dog, Daugherty said.
Fire departments from Wellsboro, Middlebury, Morris, Blossburg and Tioga assisted. Firefighters were on the scene for more than five hours.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.