SHEFFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- Authorities have released new details after five people were found dead following a Sheffield house fire.
At a press conference Thursday, Berkshire County District Attorney Andrea Harrington said that the deaths are being investigated as a murder-suicide.
Harrington identified the victims as Luke Karpinski, and his wife, Justine Wilbur, both 41 years old, and three children: a 3 year old and 7 year old twins.
"At this time, the evidence indicates that Luke Karpinski was the assailant," Harrington explained.
Dennis Yusko, spokesperson for the Berkshire County District Attorney's office, said that the sheriff's office received a call about an active structure fire at 1343 Home Road in Sheffield around 7:50 a.m. Wednesday.
Crews from several area communities - some as far as Canaan, CT and Norfolk, CT - converged on the scene and were able to put out the fire by approximately 9:15 a.m.
Investigators initially discovered one person dead following the fire, but as crews continued to move through the home, they found four other people deceased.
Harrington explained Thursday that Wilbur was found individually and other bodies were discovered upstairs.
Western Mass News has learned Wilbur was a patent attorney at Hoffman Warnick out of New York since 2017.
The firm described Wilbur as both dedicated and hard working, confirming she died with her family.
Hoffman Warnick released a statement that reads:
“It is with grief and immeasurable sorrow that we learned of the death of our friend and colleague Justine M. Wilbur, who died with her family yesterday in Sheffield, Massachusetts.
Justine was a talented attorney who joined our team in 2017 after having built a reputation both domestically and internationally as a patent expert. Her work was both meaningful and challenging having encompassed topics ranging from cancer treatment and nanotechnology to advanced materials.
Justine was smart, knowledgeable, dedicated and hardworking. She was a devoted mother to her wonderful children, and a true friend to everyone in our firm.
We are each devastated by loss and extraordinary sadness, but are comforted and grateful for having shared Justine’s infectious spirit and energy.
We pray for her family and those who loved her.”
Autopsies are being performed by the office of the chief medical examiner to determine the causes of death.
The incident remains under investigation.
Western Mass News will continue to follow this story and will have more information as it becomes available.