State Police: Residents Stay in Homes in Barrett and Price Townships
State Police Tip Line: 1 (866) 326-7256

House Explosion Victim Identified

KIDDER TOWNSHIP — Investigators were back on the scene of Monday’s deadly explosion that leveled a home in Carbon County.

As the investigators were piecing together what happened, a friend of the victims of this tragedy, stopped by.

“You always saw that they were helping somebody out or always working on somebody’s home, always,” said Kim Ginopolas of Lake Harmony.

Kidder Township Police say the two victims are from Albrightsville.

Bruce Barberio is recovering at Lehigh Valley Hospital.

But police say Melissa Barwis was killed in the explosion.

Ginopolas says the pair were caretakers of several properties in the area, including the house that exploded.

“They’re always together, always together. They only had one car and they only had one cell phone because they were never separated,” said Ginopolas.

Investigators say the explosion happened as a result of a damaged propane line in the crawl space area of the home.

The fire marshal says the fire was likely sparked by an electrical appliance in the home.

As the investigation continues, the healing process is starting a few miles away at Penn Kidder School.  It’s where two of the couple’s young children go to school.

Donations will be accepted during the school’s annual Family Math Night Wednesday night, which is free and open to the public.

“We’ll be having some donation desks and other opportunities to help out this family for their potential need,” said Brian Gasper, Principal of Penn Kidder Campus.

The Family Math Night goes from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Donations will be accepted there and at Mauch Chunk Trust Company Locations.

Albrightsville Volunteer Fire Company is collecting for a family fund.
You can make checks out to :

Barberio Family Fund, c/o Albrightsville Volunteer Fire Company, P.O. Box 133, Albrightsville, PA  18210.


  • Gina Madgey

    A couple with so much LOVE, they took care of our rental home in B.B. for the past 6 yrs Never have I met a more dedicated couple~ with their children,(when we first interviewed them for the job the (2) kids were with them- that is why they were picked-“real people”!) dedicated also to there work & especially to each other- To Melissa’s family & all that love her- I am so sorry for your loss I just heard about a hour ago my heart is hurting so bad for Bruce & Children The just were a team always with the children when stopping by our rental house to chat etc. I am numb to say the lest Melissa was a beautiful,charming, honest, sweet, hard working young woman & I would have been proud to have called her daughter, sister, friend she will be truly missed by myself & husband. Bruce may the Lord give you strength at this time & down the road when people tend to go on with life & you are still left with that void-Losing a partner, best friend remember you have (3) legacy’s to raise in her honor do her proud she loves those children we spent many times talking about baby-doctors, ear specialist, preschool homework dance etc Nothing was to much trouble when it came to her family & the same with her working family who were lucky enough to get to know her well My you be in Heavenly Father’s home & Jesus loving arms around you smiling down at us & keeping watch over us who miss you
    Your Friend ~Gina Madgey

  • Patricia Cusat Hartzel

    My family and my children knew Melissa growing up in Lansdale, Pa. We are truly so sorry for the children she has left behind. Her son down here and her children who lived with her. May God Bless her, and her family.

  • Cheryl Barwis Konopski

    We are still in shock over this horrible matter thank you all that can help my sister’s family they really need everyone support & love this is a time where we all need to come together. Melissa growing up we were the best of friends lots of things had changed over the years with us both having are family’s I love u dearly & that has never changed may u b at peace now I know you & Joan will be looking after your family an all of our<3

  • Donna

    please be aware that the children lost their Mom, not their home..the parents were at a house they were taking care of…the needs are monetary to take care of the children as the Dad is seriously injured and the Mom is deceased….but I doubt they need things like desks since their house is in tact.

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