SHEFFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- Authorities have released new details after five people were found dead following a Sheffield house fire.

Berkshire County District Attorney Andrea Harrington said Thursday that five people, whose bodies were found after a house fire Wednesday, are now being investigated as a murder-suicide.

Three of those who died are young children.

Investigators believe a man killed his wife and three children before setting their home on fire.

"Sheffield is a very quiet, little town...mostly road," said Nathen Estrada of Sheffield.

The quiet, Berkshire County town of Sheffield is trying to make sense of what happened after five people were found dead inside a house on Home Road Wednesday morning around 7:50 a.m.

Harrington identified the victims as Luke Karpinski, and his wife, Justine Wilbur, both 41 years old, and three children: a three year old and seven year old twins.

"At this time, the evidence indicates that Luke Karpinski was the assailant," Harrington explained.

Estrada added, "I was completely shocked, I would never guess that would happen here in Sheffield."

Officials report 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.

"I'm so sorry for the family. I can't imagine that actually happening here," Estrada noted.

The superintendent of the Southern Berkshire Regional School District confirmed grief counselors will be at the elementary school the children attended.

The incident remains under investigation.

Western Mass News will continue to follow this story and will have more information as it becomes available.

Copyright 2019 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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