1 dead, 1 hurt in Westmoreland County house fire

A woman is dead and another person was hurt in a fire in Westmoreland County.

The fire broke out at around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday at 850 McKinley Street in Bolivar.

The victim was identified as Joanna Policichio, 84.

Witnesses told Channel 11 a neighbor ran up to the front door, trying to help the elderly couple who lived there, as flames tore through their house. Neighbors said they could hear the couple’s cries for help as they tried to escape.

Pat Shank told Channel 11 she had just seen Joanna, and her husband, Tom, over the weekend.

“They were having their Sunday lunch, and I just happened to visit. They liked to sit out on their porch,” Shank said. “These were such nice people.”

Family members said Tom was badly burned and flown to a Pittsburgh-area hospital. The neighborhood plans to rally around the family and help however they can as they hope and pray for Tom’s recovery.

“My daughter has actually been dealing with childhood cancer for the last four years, and we have actually seen how amazing this neighborhood and community can be,” said Christine Jones, who lives nearby.

The State Police Fire Marshal is investigating.

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