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Bethel Park woman dies in fire in home

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Monday, March 4, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

An 88-year-old woman was declared dead at the scene of a smoky Bethel Park house fire on Sunday afternoon, authorities said.

Bethel Park Volunteer Fire Department Chief David Gerber said the fire was reported in the 5300 block of Elm Street shortly after 1 p.m., in the home of a woman the Allegheny County Medical Examiner later identified as Jennie Martin.

Police had kicked the door in when firefighters arrived, and responders could see Martin lying on the floor inside, Gerber said. Firefighters pulled her out by 1:13 p.m., but medics declared her dead at the scene.

Gerber said the fire appeared to have started in and was mostly contained to the kitchen. Firefighters extinguished it with a single hose.

The Allegheny County Fire Marshal's Office is investigating the cause. An autopsy is scheduled for Monday.

Staff writer Bill Zlatos contributed to this story. Matthew Santoni is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5625 or

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