AMBRIDGE (KDKA) – One woman was killed and five others were injured during a fire at an apartment building in Ambridge.
According to officials at the scene, the fire happened Sunday afternoon at the JFK apartments on First Street.
A police officer first noticed flames coming from a window.
By the time firefighters arrived, thick black smoke had filled the hallways, which trapped many people on the second and third floors in their apartments.
Neighbors stacked two mattresses below a window so a couple and a small child could jump to safety.
Another neighbor brought in a ladder to help an elderly man climb to safety.
However, 58-year-old Arlene Pickett died in the fire.
Pickett’s sister says she was a “beautiful person who would “help anyone.”
Pickett lived on the third floor and was found in a stairwell on her way to the second floor.
An autopsy was scheduled for Monday.
The five people who were injured were treated and released at local hospitals.
Ambridge firefighters are being assisted by a state police fire marshal. A preliminary investigation was completed last night. They will be back at the scene on Tuesday.
The fire started in the living room area of a second floor apartment.
The Beaver County Housing Authority says the building sustained extensive damage and it will be quite some time before anyone can live there. They are trying to place the victims in other apartments across the area. In the meantime, the victims have been placed by the Red Cross at a local hotel.