LEECHBURG (KDKA) — An elderly woman died and her daughter was injured in a house fire Wednesday afternoon in Leechburg, Armstrong County.
The flames were first reported just after 3:40 p.m. at a wood-frame, two-story house located in the 300 block of Beale Avenue.
For about 4½ hours, volunteer firefighters battled the intense and smoky mutual aid house fire.
The Armstrong County Coroner said 96-year-old old Pearl Sendry, who was confined to a wheelchair, became trapped in home. She was found on a couch in a front room.
Firefighters pulled her out; but sadly, she was pronounced dead at the scene by Armstrong County Coroner Brian Myers.
Sendry’s daughter, who neighbors said was a retired teacher from the nearby Knoch School District, was taken to West Penn Hospital with burns to her hands.
Neighbor Terri Bishop said, “It’s very sad. It’s a small town, my son is a junior fireman, so I thought I’d come up here and check on him.”
Firefighters had trouble entering the home because they encountered an amount of clutter, including large boxes and what appeared to be high piles of old newspapers and magazines.
Keith Mikell, from Parks Township, was driving home from a physical therapy session when he heard on his scanner there was a structure fire with entrapment. He turned on his cell phone and went on his Facebook page live.
“The flames were intense and very dramatic, and very heartbreaking to see,” Mikell said. “It’s an old house, they’re well built, and when they go up, they burn for a long time.”
The coroner said no foul play is suspected, and the origin of the fire is under investigation by the State Police Fire Marshal.