One dead, one injured in Springdale Township fire
A woman died and a man was injured as fire swept through a Springdale Township duplex early Sunday.
Allegheny County property records list the address of the property at 914-916 Main St. in the township’s Harwick section, but the road is more commonly known as Hite Road or Jacoby Road.
Springdale Township police Chief Mike Naviglia, who responded to a report of the fire about 2:30 a.m., dragged the man from the porch of the home, but couldn’t reach the woman inside.
“I booted the door and tried to get inside, but I couldn’t,” he said.
The identities of the victims have not been released pending notification of family, an Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s spokeswoman said.
Neighbors said a brother and sister lived on one side of the duplex and the owners on the other. The Red Cross was working with the owners to find a place for them to stay.
A medical condition for the injured man wasn’t available at a Pittsburgh hospital.
Well-liked in neighborhood
Next-door neighbor Sue Francis said the brother and sister were friendly and had lived there since the 1990s.
“They were very, very nice and mostly kept to themselves,” she said.
“She wasn’t in good medical shape,” Francis added.
Neighbor Lucy Fogle said she awoke to see red flashing lights and realized it was from fire engines. “I saw smoke pouring out. It was something,” she said.
She said the woman who died had trouble seeing and walking and mostly stayed in a front room.
Fogle said several dogs and cats also perished.
“This is sad. So very, very sad,” she said.
Fully engulfed before firefighters arrived
Allegheny Valley Fire Chief Kevin Funkhouser said the house was burning on three sides by the time firefighters arrived from their station just a few blocks away.
“It was completely engulfed,” he said. “There was absolutely no way to go inside. This fire was too hot,” he said.
Funkhouser said about 25 firefighters from at least six departments were forced to encircle the house to keep the blaze from spreading.
The roof and upper stories collapsed into the basement. Parts of two walls and a garage remained standing.
At daylight, Funkhouser, investigators and police started to search the smoking rubble. The Allegheny County Medical Examiner took the woman’s body away just after 9 a.m.
The county medical examiner and fire marshal are investigating.