Identity Of Body Found In West Hazleton Fire Still Unknown

January 17, 2019
1 of 2
Identity Of Body Found In West Hazleton Fire Still Unknown

WEST HAZLETON — The identity of a man found dead inside a fire-torn building Tuesday remains a mystery — for now. Dr. Gary Ross determined the male died from the carbon monoxide he inhaled during a suspicious fire at 101-103 E. Green St., said Bill Lisman, Luzerne County coroner. The autopsy was held Wednesday morning at the coroner’s office, however his identity won’t be learned until dental records are reviewed, Lisman said. “It could take a few days.” Borough police Chief Brian Buglio said the county deals with a dentist who has the ability to identify people through dental records. Fire officials believe the blaze began in 30-year-old Grant Yamulla’s apartment on the 103 side, where much of the fire damage was sustained, and he remains unaccounted for. Police ask any dentists in the Hazleton area who treated him within the past 10 years to contact them so officers can rule him out. The man died inside the apartment building Saturday night when a fast-moving fire overwhelmed it. Despite attempts to search for people trapped inside during the fire and after the flames were extinguished, the human remains weren’t located until Tuesday as the investigation continued and after a demolition crew showed up. An official ruling on the type of death is pending until a state police fire marshal concludes his investigation into the fire at the building that sits at East Green and North Fourth streets. Samples from the building are being analyzed at the state police crime lab. Police also need people to step forward with video and pictures of the fire. Officers can be reached at 570-455-3733 or through 911. Information can also be emailed to whpd83@gmail.com. Demolition on the building was scheduled to start Tuesday but that work was halted when police and the fire marshal found the body as they investigated that morning. Franzosa Trucking Co., Hazle Twp., resumed demolition Wednesday, successfully removing the rear portion of the home with an excavator by late morning. Contact the writer: achristman@standardspeaker .com; 570-501-3584

Update hourly