A woman died Tuesday morning in a two-alarm house fire in Swissvale.
Dan Lane, 45, who lived in the home on Ardmore Street, identified the woman as his mother, 75-year-old Shirley Lane.
Alvin Henderson, chief of Allegheny County emergency services, said officials believe the fire started in Ms. Lane's second-floor bedroom, where firefighters found her.
Swissvale fire Chief Clyde Wilhelm confirmed one person was trapped on the second story of the house and died in the blaze.
The county fire marshal will determine the fire's official cause.
Mr. Lane said he woke up about 5:45 a.m. and heard an explosion. He went to check on his mother in her bedroom but said she couldn't make it out, and he couldn't enter, because the flames were too heavy.
"I opened up the door, and she was still alive at that point, but I couldn't get in," he said.
He noted that his mother used oxygen for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, a lung disorder.
After the fire, Mr. Lane stood outside the home holding his dog, one of two rescued from the home. Both were covered in soot, and Mr. Lane's hair was singed in places. Family members said a cat died in the blaze.
Bob Lane of Penn Township, Westmoreland County, said his mother loved her dogs, bingo and traveling, and had been looking forward to a months-long trip to visit her daughter, Donna, in Florida.
"She was just a beautiful lady," Bob Lane said.
But things hadn't been easy for the Lane family as of late. Robin, Bob Lane's wife, said her mother-in-law cherished her family and had been depressed since her son, Donny, who lived with her and Dan, died in November.
"It's been so long since she's been herself," she said.
Shirley Lane is also survived by four grandchildren. She had lived in the Swissvale home more than 40 years, her family said.
Chief Henderson said damage to the home totaled $75,000. The house next door also had $20,000 in damages.
Molly Born: email@example.com, 412-263-1944 or on Twitter @borntolede.