Local woman killed in Fenwick fire


A Fenwick Island-area resident was killed Monday, Jan. 5, when a fire erupted in her home off Route 54, just southwest of Fenwick Island. Officials from the Delaware State Fire Marshal’s Office said the fire broke out about 5:57 p.m. on the second story of a two-story home on Jefferson Avenue in the unincorporated area outside Fenwick Island town limits.

Joy M. Hornyak, 31, formerly of South Point, near Assateague Island, Md., was removed from the home by firefighters from the Ocean City, Md., Fire Department and Roxana Volunteer Fire Company and transported by Ocean City paramedics to Atlantic General Hospital in Berlin, Md., where she was pronounced dead.

The Maryland State Medical Examiner’s Office in Baltimore, Md., is now conducting an autopsy to determine Hornyak’s exact cause of death.

Firefighters said they encountered heavy fire on the second floor of the home when they arrived on the scene. Fire damages to the home were subsequently estimated at $100,000. The home was equipped with a working smoke alarm, Fire Marshal’s representatives noted Tuesday, emphasizing that their investigation as to the cause of the fire was still under way.

There were no firefighter injuries.

Family members said Hornyak enjoyed writing, caring for animals and being outdoors and was a loving daughter, sister and aunt. She is survived by her parents, Stephen and Shirley Hornyak of Ocean View, Del.; her sisters, Julie Schroeck and Susan Ryan, both of Clarksville, Del., and Stephanie Downes of Bethany Beach, Del.; five nephews; and three nieces.

A Memorial Mass of Christian Burial was set for Saturday, Jan. 10, 2009, at 10 a.m. at St. Ann’s Catholic Church, Bethany Beach, with a graveside service at Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Dagsboro, Del., immediately following the Mass.