BETHEL PARK (KDKA) — One person is dead following an early morning fire at a home in Bethel Park.
Flames began to consume the house on Highland Road around 4:45 a.m.
By the time firefighters arrived, it was a battle already lost.
“The house was very well involved when we got here,” said Chief Dave Gerber, of the Bethel Park Fire Department.
The old, wooden structure was the residence of an 83-year-old woman who had not been seen or heard from since late Thursday night when she made a series of ominous phone calls to a neighbor and close friend.
“She called me last night and talked to me for a while,” said neighbor Wayne Bock. She was very depressed. She said, ‘I’d end it all.’ She kept saying, ‘I’m 83, and I want to get out of here.’”
As the morning went on, the fire continued to burn.
There were two things preventing fire crews from putting the flames out; first, trees in the front yard, and second, neighbors report that the woman living there was a hoarder.
“There was definitely a lot of stuff inside the house,” said Chief Gerber.
The Allegheny County’s Fire Marshal was on scene as well as the Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s Office, leaving one of her friends to fear the worst.
“I’m afraid that maybe she was in that fire,” Bock said.
Around 10 a.m., the medical examiner’s office removed human remains from the burnt out structure.
The body has not yet been identified.
Meanwhile, officials say they expect the road to be closed for much of the day as they remove timber and douse hot spots.
There’s no word yet on what sparked the blaze.