Significant structural collapse at 9:16 into the video.
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Arrival video from Warren Anderson taken during yesterday’s (Monday) fatal rowhouse fire in Jeannette, Pennsylvania.
The lead investigator of a fatal fire that destroyed seven homes Monday afternoon in Westmoreland County said he may never be able to determine the cause of the blaze.
“The devastation and destruction in this case, well, we may never know,” said Pennsylvania State Police fire marshal Chet Bell Tuesday morning.
An 87-year-old woman died in the blaze that engulfed the set of rowhouses on South 7th Street. She was identified by the Westmoreland County Coroner’s Office as Shirley B. Kocherhans. She was found inside one of the homes.
Firefighters arrived within minutes, the fire was already raging, Jeannette fire Chief Bill Frye said.
Fire crews were battling wind in addition to the fire on a blustery, snowy afternoon. One side of the building collapsed about an hour after the fire broke out.
As soon as firefighters arrived, they started trying to extinguish the flames. When they heard there were people inside, they changed their focus from fighting the fire to rescuing occupants, Frye said.
One woman was dangling from a second-story window and dropped into the arms of firefighters. She was taken to the hospital to be treated for burns and smoke inhalation.