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Woman dies in Armstrong County house fire; 3 survive

| Friday, July 4, 2014, 8:57 a.m.
Cory Stivason | For the Leader Times
A house fire in Rural Valley claimed the life of Regina Pearce on Friday, July 4, 2014.

A woman died and three people escaped by jumping out of a second-floor window when a house fire tore through an Armstrong County home early Friday, fire officials said.

The woman was identified as Regina Dawn Pearce, 45, said county Coroner Brian K. Myers, who pronounced her dead of accidental smoke inhalation at the scene. She was found inside the back door of her home in Cowanshannock Township when firefighters tried to enter, Myers said.

A state fire marshal is investigating.

Armstrong 911 said the call about the fire, along State Route 1042, was made at 3:43 a.m.

Flames were shooting out of the windows, and the blaze was spreading from room to room by the time the first units with Rural Valley Fire Department arrived several minutes later, Rural Valley officials said. Five fire companies helped put out the blaze.

At one point, as firefighters tried to rescue the woman trapped inside, part of the house collapsed. No firefighters were harmed, a Rural Valley Fire official at the scene told WPXI-TV.

Conditions of the three survivors were not available. The woman's husband was away at work when the fire erupted.

The American Red Cross is providing the survivors ­— the woman's son, daughter and the daughter's boyfriend — with food and clothing.

Natasha Lindstrom is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.

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