1 killed, 5 injured in Ambridge apartment fire
Quick-thinking Ambridge residents with ladders and mattresses managed to rescue several people from a smoky apartment fire on Sunday evening that left one person dead and five injured.
As police and firefighters were arriving at the burning John F. Kennedy Apartments in the 200 block of First Street, neighbors piled mattresses on the lawn and set up ladders so people could jump or climb from the second and third floors, where they'd been trapped by thick black smoke.
“My neighbor and her kids were carrying mattresses across the street and urging people to jump,” said Susan Butcher, 71, who credited neighbor A.J. Mixter for her heroics. “One father threw a little boy out the window (to the mattresses below). It was a terrifying sight. They are definitely, definitely heroes.” Mixter could not be reached for comment.
Ambridge police Chief James Mann said one woman in her 50s or 60s was found unresponsive in a stairwell between the second and third floors. She was declared dead at the scene. Beaver County Coroner Teri Tatolovich-Rossi said her office was still trying to reach the woman's family and could not release her identity. Mann said she appeared to live alone in an apartment in the building.
A passing police officer had noticed the smoke about 4:25 p.m. Responding officers tried to rescue tenants before firefighters arrived to take over.
“The smoke was unbelievable,” Mann said. “Officers displayed unbelievable bravery going in and out of building to save those other people.”
Five people were transported from the scene for treatment, including two children taken to Children's Hopsital in Lawrenceville. Their conditions were not known.
Ambridge fire Chief David Drewnowski said the fire appeared to have started in a second-floor apartment and was under control by 5 p.m. The damage to the building displaced 11 families, some of whom were being assisted by the Red Cross.
The state fire marshal's office was investigating the fire, and the cause wasn't immediately known.
Matthew Santoni is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5625 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Add Matthew Santoni to your Google+ circles.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers receiver Heyward-Bey looks to make most of chance
- Steelers know fast start could be key to upcoming season
- Scientists dismiss dire outlook for Western Pennsylvania winter weather
- Pirates notebook: Bucs unlikely to make trade before deadline
- Steelers formalize practice squad
- Rossi: Cole perfect pitcher to start pivotal series for Pirates
- Pitt notebook: Panthers defense responds to questions with shutout
- New Ohiopyle park manager ready for big challenge that comes with job
- On the border of Westmoreland, Fayette, Jacobs Creek section is sacred spot
- Toll road system traces roots to Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania Turnpike
- Penn State notebook: Defensive line has strong start