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Woman, 87, Killed In Jeannette Fire

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JEANNETTE (KDKA) -- Crews battled a major fire that killed one person in Jeannette on Monday afternoon.

It was just after 2 p.m. when Jeannette City firefighters arrived at South 7th Street to take on a fire that was already consuming several row houses.

jeannette fire
(Photo Credit: KDKA Photojournalist Ken Murray)

"We arrived and found heavy fire on all five units in the back, on the back porch, as well as in at least three of the apartments already when we arrived," Jeannette Fire Chief Bill Frye said.

Firefighters checked to see if everyone was out, and a dramatic rescue ensued with a woman trapped on the second floor.

"She was hanging out of a second-story window when we arrived around the front of the building. We had city Public Works crews, as well as one of our firefighters, out there. She jumped down to them, and they were able to pull her free of the building, get her across the street and get her to medical care," Frye said.

jeannette fire
(Photo Credit: KDKA)

There was another person trapped inside, however, and despite their best efforts, there was little firefighters could do to save the woman.

"We had one confirmed fatality in the same apartment building," Frye said.

The victim has been identified as 87-year-old Shirley Kocherhans of Jeannette.

"It happened real quick," Mark Taylor, who escaped the fire, said. "I never seen a fire in my life go that quick. We ain't got nothing now. I mean nothing, except my car and my dogs, that's the main thing."

The cause of the fire is under investigation.


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