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Man dies after tree falls onto house, traps him in bed

PENN TOWNSHIP, Pa. — A man who was trapped for nearly two hours after a tree fell onto a house in Westmoreland County Wednesday morning has died, officials said.

Dozens of firefighters swarmed Deer Run Road in Penn Township to get 71-year-old Jay Zelezniak out of the house.

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Around 4:10 a.m., rescue crews took Zelezniak to an ambulance on a stretcher. He died at Forbes Hospital.

“When you hear that someone is entrapped, it is very difficult for us. We want to do our best to get those people out and give them the best chance they have,” Jeremy Dixon, deputy emergency management director, said.

Zelezniak's wife called 911 around 2:30 a.m. and was able to get out safely.

Zelezniak was in bed when the tree crashed into the house.

Emergency responders then shifted their focus to making sure the home was safe.

The Penn Township EMS chief told Channel 11 News the tree is roughly 18 inches in diameter and roughly 80 feet tall.

The ground was extremely saturated after heavy rain, bringing the tree down onto the house.


The tree was resting on Zelezniak's chest and hips.

A doctor from Forbes Regional was called in to assist with life-saving support as crews tried to free him and was treating him the entire time.

PHOTOS: Man dies after tree falls on house, splits roof open

As that was happening, urban search and rescue were trying to stabilize the space.

A building inspector has deemed the house is unsafe to live in. Removing the tree will take some time.