Punxsutawney woman dies in early morning house fire

Local News

PUNXSUTAWNEY, Pa. (WTAJ)– One woman is dead after a fire destroys a house in Jefferson County Monday.

State Police Fire Marshal Greg Agosti said there’s evidence 72-year-old Sally Geer was smoking while on oxygen and that may have caused the fire.

Calls went out around 4:15 a.m. Monday morning for a fire with entrapment on the 200 block of West Liberty Street in Punxsutawney.

When neighbor Randy Schumaker saw the flames, his first reaction was to try to help.

“I looked out the window and I could see the flames shooting out of the house, out of the roof, probably 12, 15 feet in the air,” Schumaker said. “I wasn’t even dressed yet. All I had were my pants and my boots on. I hurried up and I ran out the door and I ran over there because I knew she was in the house. I tried to wake her up.”

When crews arrived, the back of the house was fully engulfed.

Punxsutawney Fire Chief Bryan Smith said firefighters had trouble getting inside.

“We had to use a ram to get into the front door, but after that, they proceeded to the second floor to the scene of the fire,” Smith said.

Smith said once the fire was knocked down, Geer was found on the second floor. She was pronounced dead on the scene.

Neighbors say she was a quiet and kind woman.

“She kept to herself, she was a nice lady, it’s a shame,” Shumaker said.

The fire chief said the house is a total loss.
 

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