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Couple dies in 12th Street fire early Sunday

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By The Staff

The Lancaster County Coroner's Office has released the names of a couple killed in a house fire early Sunday morning.

Nakim Omarsabrii, 35, and his wife, Jacqueline S. Omarsabrii, 39, died of carbon monoxide poisoning, said Lancaster County Deputy Coroner Shannon Evans on Monday.

The Omarsabriis lived at 970 12th St., in a home that had been converted into a duplex. Firefighters were called to the duplex at 3:25 a.m., said Lancaster County Fire Marshal Stephen Blackwelder. McDonald Green, Elgin and Gooches volunteer fire departments responded first, and then called for assistance from the city of Lancaster Fire Department and Antioch Volunteer Fire Department. In all, 35 firefighters from the five departments responded.

The first firefighters on the scene went into the home, attacking the fire with a hose, Blackwelder said. It was hot and difficult to search without first knocking the fire down, he said.

Firefighters searched the home and found the Omarsabriis' bodies in a first-floor bedroom. One body was on the bed and the other was on the floor, Blackwelder said.

The home had a smoke detector, but it did not have batteries, Blackwelder said.

The State Law Enforcement Division responds to all fatal fires and assisted the Lancaster County Sheriff's Office and a county team of fire investigators, Blackwelder said.

The fire apparently started at the back of the stove, judging from the heaviest damage. But the exact cause of the blaze is undetermined, Blackwelder said.

A neighbor, Jeremiah Cousar, called 911 to report the fire. He kicked in the front door of the home to see if he could save the couple, a sheriff's office incident report said. But there was too much smoke and he had to back away, the report said.

Before the fire departments arrived at 3:35 a.m., sheriff's deputies kicked the doors and beat on the side of the home to try to summon the residents, the report said. One deputy threw a stick through an upstairs window trying to get a response.

A child who lives at the home was staying with a relative at the time of the fire, according to the incident report.

Contact Jenny Hartley

at 283-1151 or

jhartley@thelancasternews.com