An elderly couple has suffered a tragic death in a fierce house fire.
Kenneth and Phyllis Zerr were both 84 years old, having been together as a married couple for 63 years.
Their family is mourning their death, which happened in the most tragic and heartbreaking way.
Kenneth refused to leave his wife behind after she fell in the bathroom during the fire. He chose to stay by her side to the very end.
Andy Zerr, their son, tried to hold back tears as he talked about his parents outside their home. He also detailed their final moments.
While speaking to the media, he explained that his father would not leave his mom behind even though the fire services advised him to do so.
According to Andy, the dispatch team was talking to Kenneth on the phone as he was trying to help his wife out of the house.
However, they got trapped inside, and when dispatch asked him to leave without her he said "I'm not leaving my wife."
He remained there until the very end.
The fire department reported that an appliance in the basement likely caused the fire. However, investigations are still being carried out.
According to officials, the fire got through the home's bottom floor and made it to the upstairs bedrooms. As the fire crew tried to get upstairs, the floor began collapsing, and that's how the couple ended up getting trapped.
The couple had three kids and several grandkids, and they were dearly loved by their many family members.
According to their son Andy, the couple was also "deeply rooted" in the community and church. They would spend almost every holiday at their home.
Andy said that a lot of people envied the elderly couple and wanted to be like them.
"My mom and dad were salt of the earth. They will be dearly missed. They were a pillar of the community. They were our rocks. They were our foundation. They were our wisdom."
Their granddaughter Ashley Kozlowski said that Kenneth preferred staying with his wife to saving his own life. Phyllis had fallen in the bathroom and could not get up.
Kenneth opted to stuff wet towels under the door hoping the firefighters would get to them in time.
Sadly, the house was filled with "thick, black smoke," and the firefighters got there too late. Kenneth and Phyllis could not be saved.