WILKINSBURG (KDKA) – The Allegheny County Fire Marshal is investigating the cause of a three-alarm fire that ripped through a townhouse Thursday , claiming the life of one woman.
Neighbors in the five-unit building, located in the 1700-block of Wesley Street, began smelling smoke around 2 p.m.
No cause has been determined. However, it's believed the fire started in the kitchen area, and quickly spread.
KDKA's Amy Wadas Reports:
Family members identified the woman killed in the fire as Veda Moore, who was home alone at the time. She is in her 30s.
They said her husband was at work, and her 10-year-old daughter was at school when the fire started.
A next-door neighbor rushed inside the apartment, trying to save the victim.
"I ran inside and she's on the floor in the kitchen and I, like, tried to pull her out," said the man who didn't want to be identified. "And I was pulling her, and she got caught and the smoke became too much and I just ran back out."
KDKA's Ralph Iannotti Reports:
Friends and family are devastated by the news.
Charmaine Sewell, who lives a few houses down the street from Moore said she saw a smoke and flames, but the fire was burning too intensely for anyone to get inside the home.
Sewell said Moore "was a beautiful person, a beautiful lady and a terrific mother to her daughter."
KDKA's Marty Griffin Reports:
"She loved her daughter, she was a committed mom. They were like the two musketeers," said Twilla Davis, a family friend. "She was just an awesome person."
Investigators say the fire destroyed all five units. They say the fire spread to the roof, making it tough to fight.
The fatality also made it difficult for firefighters.
"Sadly, we were dealt a situation where there is a fatality in this one," said Sonya Toler, of the Pittsburgh Public Safety Department.
The fire marshal continues to investigate the cause.
The Red Cross is providing food, clothing and shelter for eight adults and five children.
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