This Sept. 30, 2011 mage provided by the Casa Grande Regional Medical Center shows, from left, Radiation Oncologist Ajay Bhatnagar, Surgeon Ramon Mourelo, and Surgeon Joyce Bonenberger, conducting the first Intra-Operative Radiation Therapy procedure in the state of Arizona at Casa Grande Regional Medical Center in Casa Grande, Ariz. Hospital officials say Bonenberger, the chief of surgery of the hospital in Casa Grande, was among the three people killed in a suspicious house fire in Pinal County on Friday Dec. 13, 2013.

, Associated Press - Ap

Hospital: Chief surgeon found dead in Arizona fire

  • Associated Press
  • December 14, 2013 - 9:04 PM

CASA GRANDE, Ariz. — The chief of surgery of an Arizona hospital halfway between Phoenix and Tucson is among three people found dead in a house fire, hospital officials said Saturday.

Joyce Bonenberger, her husband, Dennis, and 11-year-old son Trevor were found in the Friday fire, Karen Kerr-Osman, Casa Grande Regional Medical Center spokeswoman, said in statement. The Pinal County Sheriff's Office said Dennis Brough, 50, and Joyce Bonenberger Brough, 51, owned the home.

Medical examiners say they still need to confirm the identities of the bodies through dental records.

Police and arson investigators are trying to determine the cause of the fire in a single-story home in a subdivision northeast of Casa Grande. It wasn't clear if the victims died in the fire or beforehand.

Rona Curphy, the hospital's CEO and president, said in the statement that Bonenberger was a beloved member of the staff.

"She will be remembered for her sense of humor, willingness to train medical students, and her interest in improving the lives of her patients through surgical interventions," Curphy said.

The hospital says Bonenberger had been employed since 1999 and its chief of surgery since 2004.

Bonenberger was one of the physicians who helped pioneer a breakthrough treatment for early-stage breast cancer, the hospital said. It involves the surgical removal of a breast tumor, immediately followed by a therapeutic dose of radiation, according to hospital officials.

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