UPDATE: Dauphin County Coroner determines victims in Steelton house fire; explains what happened


STEELTON, Pa. (WHTM) — Officials released new information about a house fire that left four people dead in Steelton on Friday.

Graham Hetrick, Dauphin County coroner, says the grandfather, Jafar Afshar, 67, used accelerants to start the fire while his 36-year-old son, Saeed Afshar, and his eight-year-old grandson and five-year-old granddaughter were sleeping. The victims died of smoke inhalation and burns.

Hetrick says the grandfather then committed suicide by remaining in the apartment while the smoke and flames continued to spread. Hetrick also says he has seen some tough crime scenes over the years, and this one will stay with him moving forward.

“You don’t lose these images, but it’s sad,” Hetrick said.

Dauphin County District Attorney, Fran Chardo previously told abc27 News that two adults and two children were killed during the incident that took place at the Raja Mart, formerly known as Mueller’s Taven on the 400 block of S Front Street.

The coroner spoke about the importance of addressing mental health. Hetrick also stated that this is the deadliest fire ever in Steelton.

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On Sunday, dozens of community members gathered at Mohn Park to remember those who died.

“They are part of our town and part of our heart and that just goes to show there are many people grieving about this,” Mayor Maria Romano Marcinko said.

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