Official: Sheffield fire where 5 were found dead was a circumstance of murder-suicide

Berkshire County Sheriff Department officers close off the road Wednesday, March 13, 2019, in Sheffield, Mass., to a home where investigators work at the scene of a house fire that killed five people.
Sheriff Department officers close off the road to a Sheffield home where investigators worked at the scene of a house fire where five people were found dead. –Ben Garver/Berkshire Eagle/Associated Press

SHEFFIELD, Mass. (AP) — Authorities believe that a man killed his wife and three children before setting their western Massachusetts house on fire and killing himself.

The Berkshire District Attorney tells the Berkshire Eagle that it’s believed the Wednesday morning blaze in Sheffield was a circumstance of a murder-suicide.

District Attorney Andrea Harrington says Luke Karpinski apparently killed his wife, Justine Wilbur, and their 7-year-old twins and 3-year-old before himself.

Harrington says the fire in Sheffield was reported just before 8 a.m. Wednesday, and the home was fully engulfed when fire crews arrived.

Wilbur has been identified by her employer as a patent attorney with an Albany, New York, firm.

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The firm said Wilbur “was smart, knowledgeable, dedicated and hardworking,” a devoted mother and a true friend.

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This story has been corrected to fix multiple typos in the headline.

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