OHIO TOWNSHIP, Pa. - An Avonworth High School student was killed in a fire that destroyed an Ohio Township home Saturday night.
The fire was reported around 6:30 p.m. at the home on Wible Lane, which borders Franklin Park.
Officials said three people lived in the home and one family member was missing for several hours. The body of Hannah Milbert was recovered from the home around 10 p.m.
“The entire Avonworth School District community is heartbroken with news of Hannah Milbert’s passing. Hannah was an amazing young lady who impacted everyone who knew her. Whether in the classroom where she excelled as an honor student, on the soccer field as a star goalie, or serving with friends in her Girl Scout troop, Hannah truly was a special, accomplished young woman. The whole Avonworth community grieves the tragic loss of such a bright spirit,” the Avonworth School District posted Sunday on its Facebook page.
The school district will have grief counselors available to students on Monday.
"It's just that horrible feeling, ache you get when you're so concerned about one of our young people," Avonworth Superintendent Thomas Ralston said.
Milbert was an honor student at Avonworth High School and goalie of the soccer team. Just a few, weeks ago the sophomore was recognized with an all- WPIAL award.
"Honestly, I think anyone who's interacted with Hannah understands they're a better person for having known her. But our hearts ache because we know what kind of future she had ahead of her," said Ralston.
Sue Stewart, a family friend, led Milbert’s Girl Scout Troop. Stewart said the pain she feels is indescribable, but is thankful for her for the impact she left.
"Thank you. Thank you for making such a big difference in your short age."
Crews spent hours fighting the fire at the home, which is on a private road. Smoke could be seen for miles, billowing into the sky.
In addition to the fierce flames, crews battled dangerously low temperatures, freezing water and iced-over streets.
Dozens of emergency responders assisted at the scene and a PAT bus served as a warming center for crews.
The cause of the fire, which rekindled Sunday morning, is under investigation. Officials said it is believed that the fire started in the home’s laundry area.
A GoFundMe page has been established to help Milbert’s family (CLICK HERE).
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