Woman dead, firefighter hospitalized after house fire in Armstrong County

MADISON TOWNSHIP, Pa. — A 79-year-old woman is dead after a fire in Armstrong County.

Armstrong County dispatchers said first responders were sent to Rimerton Road in Madison Township at around 12:48 p.m. for reports of a house fire. The fire was raised to a second alarm shortly after crews arrived.

A member of the Pine Township-Templeton Volunteer Fire Company said the house was fully involved when crews arrived. They were able to put it under control in around 15 minutes.

Firefighters said a man and woman were inside the house. The man was unharmed but the woman died from injuries sustained by the fire. Pennsylvania State Police say the woman who died was Judith A. Zacherl.

Eight companies responded to the fire. Some firefighters had to be evaluated on scene for heat exhaustion, and a firefighter was sent to the hospital to receive stitches for a cut.

The home was near the Allegheny River, which firefighters used to get the flames under control.

Firefighters believe the home was a “summer home” and say it is a total loss. They believe family members are helping the man who escaped the fire.

State police are investigating the fire and say it was accidental. The cause of the fire is unknown at this time.

Editor’s note: This story was corrected to reflect the woman’s actual age.

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