Home News Deadly fire leaves Far Northeast family reeling

Deadly fire leaves Far Northeast family reeling

Three people died and one was injured as a result of a fire that engulfed a house on Modena Place.

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Tragedy struck a family in the Far Northeast when flames engulfed a rowhouse, leaving an elderly couple and their son-in-law dead. 

Missy and Ronnie Morocco had just moved into her parents’ home on the 10900 block of Modena Place. Susan and William Wixted were bed-ridden — each on oxygen tanks — and needed constant attention, family said.

Then, on Tuesday, Oct. 22, disaster came.

Firefighters responded to the house around midnight and found heavy flames coming from both floors of the two-story home. 

It took crews only about 30 minutes to knock down the flames, but the Wixteds were found dead on the first floor. Ronnie and Missy got out, but he died Sunday at Jefferson University Hospital, family members said.

“It’s very tough,” Ronnie’s aunt, Edith Miller Waldron, told the Northeast Times. “It’s a very trying time for the family.”

Waldron said Missy told her Ronnie threw himself on top of his in-laws in an attempt to save their lives. He ended up getting burned on more than 50 percent of his body.

Missy, who was seriously injured, has been dealing with survivor’s guilt, Waldron said. 

“She’s just really feeling guilty,” she told the Northeast Times.

The Fire Marshal’s Office is still investigating the cause of the blaze.

Waldron started a GoFundMe page to support the family. The family lost almost everything they had.

“There’s a lot when there’s a fire involved and you’re just out of everything,” she added.

As of Tuesday, people had donated more than $8,000, with a goal of $10,000. Family and neighbors have also rallied around the family. Waldron said they are thankful for the outpouring of support.

Miss is “totally, totally amazed at the kindness of people,” Waldron added.

Susan and William Wixted were active members of St. Martha’s Catholic Parish before both suffered a decline in health, Waldron said. She called them pillars of the community. 

The Moroccos, meanwhile, have been through a lot. Waldron said Ronnie was disabled, having had brain tumors and multiple brain surgeries. Missy had been supporting the family through a job at Leonardo Helicopters, which has a facility near Northeast Philadelphia Airport.

“A lot of the brunt has been on Missy, but she was a trooper through it all, juggling her work and her family and her husband,” Waldron said. “She really had the weight of the world on her shoulders, and she handled it well.”

“But, now, it’s just… I don’t even know what to say now,” she added. “It’s just not good.” ••

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