Couple Killed in Long Island House Fire

Smoke detectors may not have been working.

By Greg Cergol
|  Thursday, Mar 17, 2011  |  Updated 1:53 PM EDT
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A couple was killed in an early morning house fire on Long Island, fire officials say.

Nassau County fire officials identified them as the sister and brother-in-law of the homeowner. They both lived in a garage apartment attached to the Massapequa house.

An Oyster Bay town spokesperson said the garage apartment where the couple lived was illegal.

The 56-year-old owner suffered second-degree burns to his face, arms and hands trying to rescue the couple, both in their 50s, according to Newsday.

The victims have been identified as Gary and Toni Munsch. Authorities said they had been married for about 26 years.

Toni Munsch was suffering from multiple sclerosis and had trouble getting around, friends told NBC New York. Gary Munsch worked with the local Knights of Columbus and cared for his daily.

A family friend who was visiting from Florida was not injured. Two firefighters suffered minor injuries.

The fire at the 2-story house was called in at 4:06 a.m. and brought under control an hour later.

Authorities believe the cause of the fire is accidental.

Fire Marshals supervisor Vincent McManus told Newsday that the home's two smoke detectors were not working.

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