'Our Hearts Are Broken': Support Surges For Elderly Couple Killed In Hatfield Fire

Just days after a fire killed a Hatfield couple in their home, well-wishers and loved ones have raised thousands for the family members they left behind. 

May 12, 2023 Hatfield fire
May 12, 2023 Hatfield fire Photo Credit: Courtesy of GoFundMe "Fundraiser for Family of Hatfield Fire Victims"

Firefighters were called to the Washington Lane home of Ghanshyam Patel, 78, and Leenabahen Patel, 63, around 4:30 a.m. on Friday, May 12 for a reported structure fire. 

By the time crews left the scene, both victims were pronounced dead. 

Now, friends of the couple's family are raising funds on GoFundMe to assist loved ones handle funeral expenses and other end-of-life costs. In just three days after going live, the effort has garnered nearly $5,000 of its $25,000 goal. 

"We want to help ease some of the financial burden that comes with such a devastating event," said organizer Ravi Panchal. "Our hearts are broken for our friends and family during this difficult time."

"Let's come together as a community to help our friend and her family through this heartbreaking loss."

Meanwhile, fire officials continue to investigate the source of the deadly blaze. In an update on Monday, May 15, Hatfield firefighters said it was still unclear what caused the fire, but that no smoke detectors were heard when they arrived at the scene. 

A smoke detector was found in an upstairs hallway — the same floor where the Patels were found — but officials said it "appears to have failed to operate and alert the residents" to the danger. 

A working smoke detector was found in the basement, they added. 

Click here to support the family of Ghanshyam and Leenabahen Patel on 

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