NORRISTOWN >> An outpouring of support for Deputy Bryan Lukens and his family continues to flood the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department in the aftermath of the early Wednesday morning fire at their Schwenksville home that claimed the lives of his sons, 11-year-old Bryan Lukens Jr. and 6-year-old Parker Lukens.
Lukens managed to get his wife, Tracy, and 8-year-old daughter, Soffia, out of the house, but was unable to save the two boys.
“It is my understanding, but I can’t confirm it,” said Montgomery County Sheriff Sean P. Kilkenny.
Lukens wife and daughter were released from Pottstown Hospital while Lukens was being treated at the burn unit at Lehigh Valley Hospital near Allentown.
In a phone interview Friday, Kilkenny said Lukens has been released from Lehigh Valley Hospital. Funeral arrangements for the two young boys will be announced soon.
“It’s been a difficult week, for me personally and everyone associated with the Lukens … We cannot think of a worse story,” said Kilkenny.
Lukens, a Plymouth Whitemarsh High School graduate and Conshohocken-area native, has been a deputy for the past four years. Before working in the Sheriff’s Department, he was a Whitemarsh police officer and served two tours of duty in Iraq. At the Sheriff’s Department, he is involved in extracurricular activities and honor guard.
“A great guy. He’s liked by everybody,” Kilkenny added. “Especially the judiciary. He serves in the courts division and helps keep judges and everyone in the courts system safe.”
“About one-quarter of our workforce are veterans,” said Kilkenny, who is a lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserves. “They are a great asset. They took an oath to defend out country and committed to things greater than themselves. They are prime candidates to be deputy sheriffs.”
The Lukens Family Fund was established on Dec. 15 by the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office. One-hundred percent of the proceeds from the fund will go directly to the Lukens family.
“I want to thank TD Bank all of the first responders, community leaders and residents who have expressed their compassion and condolences,” Kilkenny said. “We have received an overwhelming outpouring of compassion and generosity on behalf of the Lukens family over the past few days.”
Members of the Montgomery Bar Association, attorneys Mike Rogers and Seth Wilson, have offered to provide free legal and insurance counseling for the Lukens, and a family foundation is also being planned.
A payroll deduction plan has been set up for Montgomery County employees who want to contribute.
Checks made payable to the Lukens Family Fund can be mailed to:
Lukens Family Fund
c/o Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office
P.O. Box 311
Norristown, PA 19404
All TD Bank branches will accept cash or check donations to the Lukens Family Fund.
The Lukens Family Relief Fund GoFundMe campaign, which has raised over $291,000, has also been established by friends of the Lukens family for their benefit. For more information, visit www.gofundme.com/lukensfamilyfund.
For information about the Lukens Family Fund, contact Communications and Public Relations Coordinator Teresa Harris firstname.lastname@example.org, or 610-278-5955.
Kilkenny and others in the Sheriff’s Departments have seen Lukens since the tragedy and have been in contact with his brother-in-law, Phillip Blocklinger who is running the GofFundMe page. They are also accepting donations of clothes and toys, which can be brought to the Sheriff’s office.