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Under Investigation

Morning fire claims life of teen

Times Observer photo by Brian Ferry This house at 365 Scotts Crossing Road, Columbus Township, was the scene of a fatal fire Friday morning.

A Friday morning fire in Columbus Township claimed the life of a 14-year-old girl, according to the Pennsylvania State Police.

As of Friday afternoon, police had not released the name of the victim.

The call went out for the fire at 365 Scotts Crossing Road just before 6 a.m. and police estimated the fire started sometime after 5:15 a.m.

Firefighters from Corry, Spring Creek, Spartansburg and Wrightsville responded to the scene.

When firefighters first arrived, there was heavy smoke showing from the house, according to City of Corry Fire Chief Jim Lathrop.

Two residents had gotten out.

Firefighters “were notified by family members that there was a victim still inside,” Lathrop said. “We started an evacuation.”

The evacuation was halted when the temperature in the structure reached the point of a flash-over, Lathrop said.

He described a flash-over as a “tremendous buildup of heat” that brings items and substances that haven’t already burned to their ignition points at the same time.

“We had to pull out,” Lathrop said. Three firefighters bailed out of a first floor front window. Two of them were transported for treatment of minor injuries. A third firefighter was transported for treatment of injuries sustained while entering the building.

Ambulances from EmergyCare of Corry as well as Clymer responded to the scene.

Pennsylvania State Police out of Corry, the Warren County Coroner’s Office, and state police fire marshals also responded.

Lathrop said a cause of the fire had not been determined.

“At this time, the fire is under investigation by a state police fire marshal,” he said.

The department held a debrief after returning to station.

“That’s something we do for the members… where there is a fatality,” Lathrop said. “We bring in counselors to help them cope.”

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