Sisters killed in fire at family’s summer rental home

Published: Aug. 8, 2022 at 2:26 AM PDT
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NOYAC, N.Y. (WCBS) - A pair of college-aged sisters died when investigators say a fire broke out at their family’s rental home and they couldn’t find their way out.

The Wiener family was asleep in the home they rented in Noyac, New York, when rescuers say glass exploded and flames erupted at 3:35 a.m. Wednesday near the kitchen and spread.

The parents, Lewis and Alisa Wiener, were on the first floor while their three children, 19-year-old Lindsay, 21-year-old Jillian and 23-year-old Zachary Wiener, were on the second.

Sisters Lindsay and Jillian Wiener, 19 and 21, died in a fire at their family's summer rental...
Sisters Lindsay and Jillian Wiener, 19 and 21, died in a fire at their family's summer rental home. Their parents and older brother survived with burns and were hospitalized.(Source: Wiener Family, WCBS via CNN)

The two sisters, students at Tulane University and the University of Michigan, became trapped. Attempts by their parents to re-enter were thwarted by dense smoke and crackling hot fire.

Rescuers eventually managed to get in to the sisters. Both were taken to the hospital in cardiac arrest, with CPR in progress, according to Southampton Town Police Lt. Susan Ralph. But they died at the hospital.

Zachary Wiener, who had been in another bedroom, managed to save his life by leaping from the second story. He and his parents survived with burns and were hospitalized.

The family from Potomac, Maryland, was renting the summer home as a family retreat.

“So scary, I can’t even imagine. You come here to have a good time. You would never think about something like that,” said Kristin Saltzberg, a tourist from Pennsylvania.

Family members of the owners of the home, themselves firefighter volunteers, had responded to the fatal fire. Police and fire marshals huddled with them at the scene.

First responders were overcome by the loss.

The exact cause of the fire is being determined, but lead investigators said it is not suspicious, just a horrible tragedy.

Fire officials said the home had smoke detectors but aren’t sure if they were working as designed.

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