CECIL TOWNSHIP (KDKA) – A woman died this morning in a fire at her Washington County home.
According to officials at the scene, flames broke out around 3:30 a.m. at the home on Laurel Hill Road in Cecil Township.
When firefighters arrived, flames were already shooting through the roof and thick smoke was billowing into the dark sky.
KDKA’s Mary Robb Jackson Reports:
The fire was so intense that part of the home collapsed and kept firefighters from going inside.
A man, woman and their adult son lived in the home.
The man was at work and the son suffered severe burns to his back.
The woman was sleeping on a couch and didn’t make it out.
She has been identified as 64-year-old Margaret Pelc. She reportedly had health problems affecting her mobility.
Her son, 34-year-old Geoffrey Pelc, was in the basement when it started.
“He must of woke up in the of the night, couldn’t sleep, decided to do laundry,” said Ray Dalzell, a neighbor.
Geoff’s dad, Steve, was at work at the Allegheny County Port Authority.
Initially, Geoff tried to reach his mother, but it wasn’t possible.
Firefighters had to bring in a backhoe to knock down some unstable walls before they could enter the rubble to look for her.
A neighbor told KDKA-TV’s Trina Orlando that he talked to a family member at the scene who said the son was doing laundry when the dryer exploded and ignited the blaze.
KDKA’s Trina Orlando Reports:
Firefighters didn’t confirm that the fire started in the basement, but said it does not appear to be suspicious.
A fire marshal is investigating to determine the exact cause.
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