SHADYSIDE (KDKA) – A woman couldn’t get out of her apartment building when it caught on fire early Sunday morning.
The 65-year-old woman was not able to walk and she could not get out of her apartment in time. Numerous fire companies throughout the City of Pittsburgh were on scene in just a matter of minutes, but unfortunately it was too late to save her.
According to the Pittsburgh Department of Public Safety, the fire started just before 5 a.m. at a home in the 5000-block of Alder Street.
A neighbor said she woke up to the sound of fire trucks.
“I just woke up from the noise of the trucks and looked out the window. I saw a lot of smoke,” the neighbor said.
Three people lived in the building. Two were able to get out after the smoke alarms went off.
“There was one resident who was unable to walk and could not get out of the house by the time she needed to,” Pittsburgh Public Safety Spokesperson Sonya Toler said.
According to our news partners at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the victim’s name is Madeline Lankiwicz.
“I think it is very sad. I feel very bad for her family. I hope they’re doing okay. It is scary that it happens near you,” the neighbor said.
City officials said the fact that the building had working smoke detectors was likely a big reason that the two people who survived were able to get out of the apartment.
Meanwhile, a firefighter suffered a shoulder injury after slipping on a patch of ice, but is expected to be okay.