MCCANDLESS, Pa. (KDKA) — A woman died and a firefighter was injured after a house fire broke out Monday morning in McCandless.
Significant damage was done to the home along Knoll Street after the fire started in an upstairs bedroom.
Fire crews at the scene tell KDKA the woman was in her 60s and that hoarding conditions made it difficult for firefighters to reach her. Numerous pets died in the fire as well.
She is being identified as 68-year-old Faye Poshard.
“I’M GOING TO MISS HER”— after speaking with neighbors, the woman who died in the McCandless fire was NOT handicapped. The wheelchair ramp in front of the home was for her husband, who passed some time ago. More on @KDKA pic.twitter.com/gIT9L3sBoW
— Lindsay Ward (@LindsayWardTV) May 3, 2021
People KDKA talked to are devastated and in disbelief.
“The way she died, I just can’t accept it. It’s so hard, you know,” said Donna Evans, a neighbor.
Donna lives next door to the home flames tore through just after 6:30 Monday morning. Her grandson, Josh, woke up to the sound of burning.
“And then we ran over to the window and we saw the whole side of the house was on fire and the whole window was engulfed,” said Josh Evans.
Crews attacked the flames at all angles. They were even using chainsaws to cut through the roof. The Peebles District Volunteer Fire Company Chief, Matt Williams, said firefighters encountered extreme hoarding, which made it difficult to locate the woman trapped inside. She was found in a second floor bedroom.
“She was extricated and in EMS care where she was pronounced dead on scene,” said Williams.
It’s a home crews are familiar with. They say they’ve been there in the past due to the hoarding. That made it challenging for the numerous departments on scene.
“One, we don’t know what’s inside of the house, chemical-wise and stuff like that. And how sturdy is the structure? A lot of this weight on these older homes could complicate the floor for the firefighters,” said Williams.
One firefighter was taken to the hospital to be treated for minor burns.
The cause of the fire is unknown at this time.
“I’ll miss her. Yeah, I’ll really miss her because we just went to church and everything like that,” said Donna.