Woman dies in Heidelberg house fire

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A woman died in a house fire Thursday night in Heidelberg, the Allegheny County medical examiner's office said today.

Firefighters had been searching for the woman in the home in the 600 block of Garfield Avenue that drew seven fire companies about 6:45 p.m., Allegheny County emergency officials said.

KDKA-TV reported the body of Patricia Walls, was found late last night inside the home.

A man who lived at the home was taken to the hospital, an officer at the scene said.

Heidelberg police Sgt. Dennis Dixon said the male resident was treated for smoke inhalation.

Neighbor Ron Mixter, 55, said he was barbecuing for his grandchildren when he saw smoke over the hill.

He said the man who lived in the home had escaped through a second-floor window and was yelling for help from the porch roof. Flames were shooting out of the window, Mr. Mixter said.

He said he and other neighbors helped secure his ladder to the porch, so the man could climb to safety.

"I reached up as far as I could and grabbed his ankles and legs" as he climbed down, Mr. Mixter said.

He said he then went to the front door but couldn't enter the home because of black and gray smoke filling the home.

"It happened so fast, I don't know how it happened," he said, adding that he believes the family has lived in the home for about two decades.

Sgt. Dixon said two close, adjacent homes likely had water and fire damage, but were saved.

Allegheny county police and the fire marshal are on scene, as well as Heidelberg police and local fire companies. The cause of the fire is being investigated, Sgt. Dixon said.

Lexi Belculfine: lbelculfine@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1878. Twitter: @LexiBelc. First Published April 24, 2014 8:46 PM


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