Authorities ID woman killed in Cecil Twp. house fire

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CECIL TOWNSHIP, Pa. - Officials pulled the body of a woman from the rubble of a home destroyed by flames in Cecil Township Wednesday morning.

Firefighters were called to the home on Laurel Hill Road around 3:30 a.m.

Channel 11’s Dave Bondy reported that the fire caused a portion of the home to collapse, initially making it too dangerous for firefighters to go inside.

"The house was so involved in fire that it was structurally unsafe for us to enter. We did not enter at all,” said Cecil Township fire Chief Ed Povirk

Hours after the blaze caused a portion of the home to collapse, crews brought in a backhoe to remove debris and search for the woman, later identified as Margaret Ellen Pelk. Her body was found around 9 a.m. 

“It’s certainly an emotional time because we do want to make sure that we do as best as possible, but still we don’t want to put ourselves in danger. It’s a difficult situation for everyone involved,” said Povirk. 

Pelk's son, Geoffery Pelk, was able to make it out of the home. He was taken to UPMC Mercy Hospital to be treated. He is listed in good condition.

A family friend said he spoke to Pelk’s husband shortly after he learned about the tragic news.

“His son must have woken up in the middle of the night, he just couldn’t sleep and decided to do laundry. When he went down, he turned the dryer on, it sparked and just blew up,” said Ray Dalzell. 

An official cause of the fire has not been determined.