M.E. releases causes of death as investigation continues into fatal fire

Updated:

Loading

McKEESPORT, Pa. - The deaths of six family members, including four children, in a Saturday morning McKeesport house fire were caused by acute smoke and fume inhalation, according to the Allegheny County Office of the Medical Examiner.

Hope Jordan, 27, and her four children, Dominic Jordan, 7; Autumn Jordan, 6; Serenity Jakub, 3; and Victoria Jordan, 2, died in the tragic fire, as did Ronald Egenlauf Sr., 55. The manner of their deaths has not been determined, pending the results of the ongoing investigation into the origin of the fire, the medical examiner’s office said.

Flames ravaged the family’s Express Alley home shortly before 7 a.m. Emergency responders were unable to get inside.

“When the fire, police and EMS arrived on scene, there was heavy fire already coming out of the windows and doors of the structure. They made their best attempt to try to get into the structure, but due to how rapidly involved the fire was, they were not able to successfully go in and actually perform a rescue,” said Chief Alvin Henderson, of the Allegheny County Department of Emergency Services.

Hope Jordan’s husband, Keith Egenlauf, was able to escape the fire after he tried to save his father, Ronald Egenlauf, family members said. However, he suffered burns to more than 50 percent of his body and was listed in critical condition at UPMC Mercy Hospital.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

The wood frame of the home, as well as a balloon-style construction, which allows for open air space in the wall joists from the basement to the roof, helped to fuel the flames that started on the first floor, officials said. Wind was also a contributing factor.

"I feel like I’m in a bad nightmare, and I just want to wake up from it," said Laverne Egenlauf, wife of Ronald Egenlauf and mother of Keith Egenlauf.

Donations to help the family can be made HERE.

RELATED STORY: Devastating McKeesport fire leaves family heartbroken over loss of 6 lives