Body Found Inside Fire-damaged West Hazleton Apartment Building

January 15, 2019

Investigators with the state police fire marshal’s unit found a body inside a fire-damaged apartment building in West Hazleton this morning as demolition got underway.

Borough police Chief Brian Buglio said the discovery was made at about 10:30 as the building at 101-103 E. Green St. was being demolished strategically.

Based on the burn patterns the fire is considered suspicious, and samples of evidence were sent to the state police crime lab.

Fire officials believe the blaze began in Grant Yamulla’s apartment, and he is unaccounted for. Police issued a missing person report on him Monday. However, the body was not found in Yamulla’s apartment, Buglio said.

A Luzerne County deputy coroner is on scene.

Buglio said the discovery changes the investigation and may complicate demolition of the building. Police put in a request to the crime lab to see if the evidence processing can be expedited.

Police continue to ask that anyone with pictures, video or information before and after the fire contact them.

Borough fire Chief Rick Sparks said Monday that firefighters searched the building for residents immediately after arriving at the scene Saturday night, and looked again from atop a ladder truck once the flames were extinguished.

Sparks said the damage left by the fire made the building “extremely dangerous” for firefighters.

Eleven people were left homeless by the fire.



Update hourly