A Pennsylvania man is believed to have killed himself and murdered his two grandkids and son as they slept in their Steelton home.
The family lived above the Raja’s Quick Pick Mart convenience store.
While they slept, Jafar Afshar, 67, poured “accelerant heavily inside the home and lighting it,” killing his grandkids and son, reported a PennLive article.
Dauphin County Coroner Graham Hetrick identified the son as 36-year-old Saeed Afshar.
Saeed’s children were identified in a post for an online fundraiser for their mother as 8-year-old Darius and 5-year-old Zipporah Afshar.
According to the Penn-Live article, people began noticing the fire around 6 a.m. Friday morning. Immediately, they called 911 and tried to alert the family.
The article reveals people tried but couldn’t get into the apartment because “the only external entrance was secured by a steel door and a deadbolt.”
Police were unsuccessful in entering the home because the smoke ran them out of the building without proper rescue equipment.
Celestine Afif told PennLive she was at a gas station when she saw the fire, “I’m just running, banging on everything, ringing bells,” Afif said. “And the next thing you know, that window exploded and I was right underneath it.”
When the fire department arrived is when the home was entered.
The motive behind the murders remain a mystery as Jafar has no prior criminal activity.
However, in an updated PennLive article, Hetrick said Jafar displayed “abnormal behavior” leading up to the murder-suicide.
Hetrick also said the positioning of the bodies and burn patterns in the home confirmed police theories that Jafar set the fire in multiple locations in the home.
All victims were found in the same room. They died of burns and smoke inhalation.
Hetrick believes the family died quickly due to the “large amount of smoke.”