Leechburg Woman Dies in Afternoon Fire

A Leechburg woman was discovered inside her residence after it caught fire yesterday afternoon around 3:30 PM.

Pearl Sendry, 96, was found on the couch in one of the front rooms of the residence.  Sendry’s daughter lived with her and escaped when the residence caught fire, but Sendry was not able to get out.

Neighbor Jeremiah Hilman said he was three feet away from Sendry, but was unable to reach her. He said the daughter also attempted a rescue, but the flames were between her and her mother.

The daughter was taken to a Pittsburgh hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Fire fighters had problems fighting the blaze. One firefighter confirmed the house was filled with “stuff” and it was difficult to get through it.

Fire crews thought the fire was out, but then was called again at 9:30 PM when the fire rekindled on the first floor and flames were seen outside by a WPXI news crew, who called 911.

There are no signs of foul play and the cause of the fire is under investigation by members of the Pennsylvania State Police Fire Marshal and Leechburg Police.

Sendry was pronounced dead at the scene by Armstrong County Coroner Brian K. Myers.  There will be no autopsy.  Cause of death was ruled Carbon Monoxide Asphyxiation and the manner of death was ruled accidental.

The incident is still under investigation by the Pennsylvania State Police in Kittanning and the Armstrong County Coroner’s Office.

Fire departments responding to the blaze included Leechburg, Gilpin Township, Hyde Park, and Allegheny Township.