Chief Surgeon, Husband and Son Dead in Arizona House Fire
(CASA GRANDE, Ariz.) — Dramatic 911 calls released by Arizona police tell of a neighbor’s desperate attempt to rescue two adults and a child from a house fire that claimed the life of a prominent surgeon.
“Somebody’s kicking the door,” the neighbor told the dispatcher, describing a fellow neighbor’s attempt to save anyone who might have been inside. “I think he broke a window and he’s yelling to see if somebody might be there.”
Authorities are investigating what they called a suspicious fire in Casa Grande, Ariz., Friday morning that killed the family of three. An investigation is underway but officials say it’s too early to tell what caused the fire.
Dr. Joyce Bonenberger, her husband, Dennis, and 11-year-old son, Trevor, were found in the fire, Karen Kerr-Osman, Casa Grande Regional Medical Center spokeswoman, said in statement.
Residents reported a large house fire around 6:37 a.m. Friday.
Authorities said the body of an adult male was found in the garage, an adult female was found in the master bedroom and the body of a child was in another bedroom, according to a news release.
Medical examiners say they still need to confirm the identities of the bodies through dental records.
Bonenberger had been the chief of surgery at Casa Grande Regional Medical Center since 2004 and was scheduled to be in surgery at the time of the fire.
“She was very, open, very loving,” Casa Grande Regional Medical Center president and CEO Rona Curphy said. “She was not just a physician and chief of surgery in Casa Grande, but she was a member of the community.”
As part of a tight-knit family, Bonenberger owned and operated her own private practice and her husband was her office manager. The couple home-schooled their son. The family had been preparing a big party Saturday to celebrate Trevor’s 12th birthday. The Bonenbergers had moved into the home only three weeks ago.
Kathy Walsh, a coworker and neighbor of Bonenberger, said she was saddened by the loss of the family.
“We’re very saddened by it. Very saddened,” she said. “I was praying all day that maybe she was gone or out of town or something when we got the news.”
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio