PITTSBURGH — A massive fire early Friday morning in Beechview sent three people to the hospital.
Two of the victims, a 79-year-old woman and a 50-year-old man, lived in the Sebring Avenue home and suffered burns. Officials said the woman, identified as Angela Lockhard, died at the hospital.
A police officer was also treated for smoke inhalation. She breathed in smoke while standing in the doorway helping the elderly woman out of the home.
The fire took several hours to extinguish.
Gloria Eberle saw the large flames from down the street.
“All you could see was the flames shooting straight up,” she described. “They were shooting straight up into the air. It was unbelievable and then, black smoke.”
Neighbors Noah and Kelly McCleary stopped by the burned-out home to survey the damage in the daylight and say a prayer for the victims.
“It’s horrible. It’s a horrible thing that happened. I hope everyone’s OK and they recover OK,” said Noah McCleary.
The couple said they often see the woman who lived in the now-gutted home.
“She’ll come out and we’ll see her with the cats and stuff,” said Kelly. “(It’s) just very sad. It’s a very tragic thing that happened.”
The charred home has been condemned.
The houses on either side, despite narrow separation, were not damaged thanks to quick action by firefighters battling both the flames and the wintry overnight weather.
“It was a difficult fire,” said Battalion Chief John Walsh. “Heavy fire showing when we got here, a lot of void spaces, and of course the weather was a little bit of a hindrance for us.”
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
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