PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A woman was pronounced dead Friday after a fire broke out inside her Penn Hills home.

Around 1 p.m., crews were called to the 2000 block of School Street.

By the time firefighters arrived, resident Jim Ryan had carried his wife Rita out of the home. She had been bedridden.

“He brought her out of the house and put her in the car to get her away from the fire,” one relative said.

Unfortunately, Rita Ryan was pronounced dead at the scene.

North Bessemer firefighters say the fire was small and easily contained.

“Significant damage to the basement, it was all contained, the doors were closed, so the fire in the basement was isolated,” said North Bessemer Fire Dept. Asst. Chief David Zacchia.

During interviews with the homeowner, investigators were told that Jim Ryan had left home Friday morning to run errands around 7:30 a.m., leaving his wife at home.

He returned to find smoke coming from the home with his wife inside.

Preliminary investigations indicate that the woman died before the fire began, but the Medical Examiner later confirmed that smoke inhalation was the cause of Rita Ryan’s death.

Allegheny County detectives are questioning Jim Ryan as the investigation continues.

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