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1 Dead After North Braddock High Rise Fire

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NORTH BRADDOCK (KDKA) -- A fire in North Braddock has turned into a homicide investigation. Police confirm one person is dead.

"I'm sick. I'm pretty miserable right now," resident Kayla Vincent said.

That was the sentiment for dozens of residents that had to evacuate General Braddock Towers early Thursday morning. A fire alarm sent residents scrambling, like Dalyana Ardis who lives on the ninth floor with her newborn baby, Armani.

"I couldn't even get him dressed or nothing. I feel bad he's out in the cold. This is crazy," Ardis said. "I'm trying to run down the steps. I almost fell down the steps and everything."

north braddock high rise fire
(Photo Credit: KDKA)

According to Allegheny County officials, firefighters were sent to the scene around 7:40 a.m. for an automatic fire alarm. When they arrived at the scene, officials noticed smoke coming from a 12th floor apartment.

"Came down to the 12th floor apartment that was on fire and immediately began fighting the fire. During the course of fighting the fire, they located a victim in cardiac arrest. That victim was brought out and transported to hospital," Steve Imbarlina, Assistant Chief with Allegheny County Emergency Services, said.

Allegheny County police confirm that victim later died at the hospital. The victim has been identified as 54-year-old Michael Dickson.

north braddock high rise fire
(Photo Credit: Amy Wadas/KDKA)

Lynette Ware said she is glad she was at the apartment when the fire broke out. She cares for Todd Davis who lives on the second floor.

"I got him out of bed and put him in his [wheel]chair and came outside," she said.

"It's crazy," Davis said.

Amy Wadas: "What would you have done if she hadn't helped you?"
Davis: "I'd be in trouble."

The cold weather did affect some of the residents so a warming bus was called in. Fortunately, everyone was able to go back into their apartments once the fire was put under control.

The fire marshal is investigating the cause and origin of the fire, but the preliminary investigation indicates the fire was accidental.

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