GENESEE, Pa. (WETM) – Apr. 12: Police have confirmed that the five children who died the early morning fire in Genesee, Pa. were all between the ages of 14 and 17.

Pennsylvania State Police out of Coudersport said that three boys, ages 14, 16, and 17, and two 16-year-old girls died in the fire. The Potter County Coroner’s Office is ruling the deaths accidental.

Police also said the cause of the fire is being ruled undetermined because of the severe damage to the house. However, an investigation determined that there was possibly an issue with a woodstove or its chimney.

Michele Erway is in Strong Memorial Hospital reportedly in “guarded condition.” Charlie Erway is in satisfactory condition.”

GENESEE, Pa., (WETM) – Update 4/11/22 7:11 p.m.: Pennsylvania State Police are investigating a fatal residential fire that killed five children and severely injured two adults on Slingerland Road in Genesee Township on April 11.

According to police, Genesee Volunteer Fire Company, along with multiple other fire companies from New York and Pennsylvania, responded to a residential house fire at 3:30 a.m. on April 11. Upon their arrival, the house was engulfed in flames.

It was determined that five juvenile victims were unable to get out of the residence. An adult female and male were able to get out of the home, but both adults sustained serious injuries while trying to rescue the children.

PSP released new information on the fire including:

  • Both adults were flown to Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester.
  • The investigation into the cause of the fire is active and ongoing.
  • Preliminary information indicates there is nothing suspicious involved with the fire and it started in the basement of the home.

Details regarding the names of the child victims will not be released until their families are notified. There is also no update at this time on the current medical condition of both adults flown to the hospital.

18 News spoke with the Superintendent of the Northern Potter School District, Nathan K. Jones. Jones said that school is in session this week and grief counseling will be in place for as long as it is needed.


Five children have died and two adults have been hospitalized in a tragic house fire that occurred in Genesee, Pa., according to the Wellsville Sun.

Reports of the fire went out around 3:30 a.m. April 11, to the home of Charlie and Michele Erway. According to the Sun, Michele Erway jumped out of a window and was taken to Jones Memorial Hospital for Severe smoke inhalation. Charlie was reportedly burned and flown to Strong Memorial Hospital.

The Wellsville Sun reported that five children died in the fire, authorities aren’t releasing the names until the children’s families are notified.

A GoFundMe page has been set up for the Erway Family. Anyone interested in the page can visit it by clicking here.

According to the Allegheny county firewire, at least eight departments responded including Whitesville, Willing, Wellsville, Andover, Wellsville EMS, MTS EMS, and Independence EMS responded to the scene.

18 News will provide any updates as they become available.