Former volunteer firefighter dies during fire in his Berks County home

Katherine Scott Image
Thursday, May 2, 2019
Victim identified in fatal Exeter Township fire
Victim identified in fatal Exeter Township fire: Katherine Scott reports on Action News at Noon, May 2, 2019

EXETER TOWNSHIP, Pa. (WPVI) -- Officials said a former volunteer firefighter died in a fire at his mobile home in Exeter Township, Berks County early Thursday morning.

The victim has been identified as 71-year-old Ronald Shuker. His twin brother, Donald Shuker, was back at the home this morning.

"Why this happened- I don't know. We're all so sad right now," he said.

Ronald Shuker was a volunteer firefighter and fire police officer for many years. He retired in recent years to care for his ailing mother, who died in January. The family is heartbroken.

"He stopped fire police to take care of her. Took care of her the best he could, and now they're both in heaven, I hope," his twin brother told Action News.

Coroner called to Berks County fire: Katherine Scott reports on Action News at 4 a.m., May 2, 2019

The fire broke out around 12:15 a.m. on the 4800 block of Perkiomen Road in Brice Villa Park.

Neighbors said they heard something and came running.

"I heard popping, and I heard glass breaking," said Sharon Erber.

Neighbor Betty Loomis added, "I came outside, and I could see the flames above the roof here. That's how high it was. And I just started shaking. I don't think I could walk."

Erber said another neighbor called 911. First responders soon arrived to heavy flames and reports of a man trapped.

"When the officer got here, we said there might be somebody inside, and he tried to break the windows and get in to try to find somebody and he couldn't get in," Erber said.

When firefighters reached Shuker, he had already died.

The Exeter Township Police Department said Shuker's dedication to his family and community will be greatly missed.

The investigation into the origin and cause of the fire continues, but officials said no foul play is suspected.