Woman injured in Washington Township fire
A Mamont Drive resident who suffered facial burns when her house burst into flames late Saturday is recovering in the burn unit at West Penn Allegheny Hospital in Pittsburgh.
Walt Golden, the homeowner and KQV Radio newsman, said that his wife, Cheri, 51, was in stable condition on Sunday and could be released from the hospital early this week.
A hospital spokeswoman said Sunday she had no record of Golden being a patient at the hospital.
The fire erupted about 10:30 p.m. in a wood-frame addition to the two-story, red-brick farmhouse at 132 Mamont Drive.
Washington Township Fire Chief Ken Bailey said the house was built in the late 1800s and the Goldens constructed an addition about five years ago.
Walt Golden said the house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The house has been for sale. It was unclear for how long.
Bailey said a fire burning in a game room fireplace at the rear of the house spread to a wood pile drying in front of the fireplace. That caught the room on fire and it spread from there.
The blaze appears to be accidental, Bailey said, although a state police fire marshal is investigating.
Bailey said that Cheri Golden was the only one home when the fire broke out and was burned by the intense heat from the flames when she tried to gain access to the game room.
Golden managed to get out of the house and run onto Mamont Drive, where she tracked down a neighbor. She then used the neighbor's cell phone to call 911, Bailey said.
The chief said the house was "very well involved" when firefighters arrived.
Firefighters had been battling the blaze only for a short time when they got a report that the Goldens' son, Bennett, was still inside. Bailey said he pulled his crew out of the house to regroup for a search.
When the search turned up nothing, Bailey said officials made contact with Cheri Golden at the hospital. She informed them that her son was in Erie with his girlfriend.
Bennett Golden was at the house on Sunday helping to clean up. He said he was too shaken by the events to comment.
Walt Golden estimated the damage to the house to be from $300,000 to $400,000. He said the addition was a total loss but that the original portion could be salvaged.
He said the family has insurance.
Firefighters cleared the scene about 4 a.m. Sunday, Bailey said, but had to return about 7:30 a.m. to battle a rekindle.
Crews weren't able to fight the fire from the roof overnight because it wasn't stable enough, he said. Had they been able to, they might have been able to prevent the rekindle, he said.
"We had to play it on the safe side," he said.
Bailey said propane tanks on the back porch exploded but didn't injure anyone.
In addition to the Washington Township Volunteer Fire Company, fire departments from Upper Burrell, Sardis, White Valley, Slickville, Delmont, Lower Burrell No. 3 and Oklahoma were on the scene along with two ambulance crews.