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Community mourns loss of Etna woman who died in fire

ETNA, Pa. — A woman died in a fire that sent smoke pouring from a duplex in Etna on Thursday morning, officials said.

The fire was reported about 5 a.m. on Bridge Street.

Part of the outside of the duplex was visibly charred as firefighters used a ladder truck to reach the top floor.

“I actually seen flames on the back porch shooting out,” Antoinette Finizio, who witnessed the fire, said.

Janet Grace Wilson died in the home she grew up in. Her daughter said off camera her mom was well known and well liked in town.

“One of our members actually lives very close, two doors down. Went right to the scene, tried to get in but, unfortunately, they were not able to get in in time to make a difference,” Etna Volunteer Fire Department Chief Greg Porter said.

Firefighters found the woman, who has not been identified, in a bedroom on the second floor, officials said.

“Unfortunately, in a situation like this, time is against us. We only have a few minutes to get to anyone that is trapped in a building that’s on fire and, in this case, we just couldn’t get there quick enough,” Porter said.

The local community is in shock.

The business owner next door was devastated to hear the tragic news. Wilson was in her 80s. The Etna fire chief says firefighters found her in a bedroom on the second floor.

Her adult son, David Wilson, managed to get out, but had to be taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation. His sister says he’s expected to be okay.

The Etna city manager, Mary Ellen Ramage, said Janet was always an engaging person and will be missed in the community. She was also a food bank volunteer at a local church. Her daughter says they were able to salvage some family photos inside.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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