HAYDENTOWN (KDKA) — An elderly woman died in a house fire in Fayette County.

Steve Bowers was driving home with his nephew when they spotted the flames shooting from the house on Barton Hollow Road in Haydentown.

He realized 78-year-old Arlene Ellsworth was trapped on an enclosed porch in the back. She told Bowers she had been cooking when something caught fire.

“The fire was all above her. The kitchen was on fire and she had herself like in the corner of the railing at the highest point on the porch.”

She went to the porch to escape, but quickly became trapped.

Bowers went to neighbors’ homes looking for a ladder or fire extinguisher but there were none to be found.

He even tried to pile up garbage cans and other items in the yard to reach her.

“I started piling up, flipping them over trying to build a ramp to get up to her and I couldn’t get up high enough,” Bowers said.

Ellsworth was unable to get over the railings surrounding the porch and died when the porch roof collapsed on top of her.

Bowers, who lives nearby, knew the victim for most of his life.

“She really was an amazing person,” he said.

Bowers and others are saddened tragedy struck so close to home.

“Arlene – she was a real nice lady, didn’t bother nobody,” Arthur Metts, a neighbor, said.

A state police fire marshal is investigating.

Stay With KDKA.com For More Details

More Local News
More Fayette County News

More From CBS Pittsburgh

Get The All New CBS Local App
KDKA Weather App

Watch & Listen LIVE