1. #1
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    Unhappy Lawrence County, PA- Amish community

    Details sketchy...
    ____________________________________________

    Fire crews respond to fire in Amish community

    (Pulaski-AP) -- Fire crews have responded to a house fire in an
    Amish Community in Lawrence County.
    Fire crews that are still on scene say the home in Pulaski
    Township was destroyed.
    The Lawrence County Coroner Russell Noga was also on scene. He
    says there are conflicting reports of children being trapped by the
    fire.
    A man and a woman escaped from the home but officials fear there
    may be other family members who were trapped.
    The first reports of the fire came in before 11 p-m. About ten
    fire trucks are outside the home and the street is blocked off in
    both directions.


    (Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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    Unhappy A sad update...apparently

    PULASKI, Pa. (AP) - Five of nine children in an Amish family
    were missing after an intense fire destroyed their wood-frame home
    in western Pennsylvania.
    The parents escaped from the home with four children, but five
    siblings were unaccounted for early Wednesday morning, neighbors
    said.
    Fire officials arrived at the home in Pulaski Township, Lawrence
    County, just after 10 p.m. and found the home engulfed in flame.
    Flames and smoke made it impossible for crews to enter the home
    to search for the missing children and they were forced to fight
    the fire from a distance.
    "I talked to the mother briefly - she was pretty upset,"
    Pulaski Township fire Chief Richard Show said. "She just said she
    had children in the house."
    Members of the Amish community stood outside early Wednesday
    morning near the smoking ruins of the home. One wall appeared to be
    the only part of the house still standing, and state police brought
    in a backhoe to search through the rubble.
    The parents of the children were treated at Jameson Memorial
    Hospital in New Castle and released, said nursing supervisor Bonnie
    Appugliese.
    Neighbors identified the couple who lived in the home as Rudy
    and Lizzie Wengerd.
    The Lawrence County coroner was called to the home but would not
    verify any fatalities.
    Neighbors said the home was built by the Amish about 30 years
    ago, but that at some point it was converted into an "English"
    house - a term to used to describe a modern home.
    The family had moved into the home in August, neighbors said,
    and were in the process of removing some modern amenities.
    The cause of the fire had not been determined.
    Pulaski is about 55 miles northwest of Pittsburgh, near the Ohio
    border.

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  3. #3
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    Unhappy Possibly 5 of 9 children died....

    PULASKI, Pa. (AP) - Five of nine children in an Amish family
    were missing and feared dead after an intense fire destroyed their
    wood-frame home in western Pennsylvania.
    The parents escaped from the home into the bitter cold with four
    children, but five siblings were unaccounted for early Wednesday
    morning, neighbors said.
    "You have a fire where people are unrecognizable," said
    Detective Kevin Hughes of the Pennsylvania State Police barrack in
    New Castle. "It's going to take time. It's going to take
    autopsies."
    Two bodies were found in the rubble before dawn, but it was
    unclear how long recovery efforts would continue. The two-story
    home appeared to have collapsed inward to the basement, which was
    filled with four feet of water as firefighters tried to extinguish
    the blaze.
    Fire officials arrived at the home in Pulaski Township, Lawrence
    County, just after 10 p.m. and found the home engulfed in flames.
    Flames and smoke made it impossible for crews to enter the home to
    search for the missing children and they were forced to fight the
    fire from a distance.
    Pulaski Township fire Chief Richard Show said the woman who
    lived in the home told him some of her children were in the house.
    About 10 Amish men stood outside early Wednesday morning near
    the smoking ruins of the home. One wall and a brick chimney
    appeared to be all that remained standing. State police brought in
    a backhoe to search through the rubble.
    One neighbor, an Amish man who would not give his name, said
    four boys and a girl, aged 2 to 14 years old, were missing.
    Another Amish neighbor, Moses Byler, said there were nine
    children in the home and that he believed four were able to escape.
    The parents of the children were taken to Jameson Memorial
    Hospital in New Castle and released, said nursing supervisor Bonnie
    Appugliese. Neighbors identified the couple who lived in the home
    as Rudy and Lizzie Wengerd.
    The Lawrence County coroner was called to the home but would not
    verify any fatalities.
    Neighbors said the home was built by the Amish about 30 years
    ago, but that at some point it was converted into an "English"
    house - a term to used to describe a modern home.
    The family had moved into the home in August, neighbors said,
    and were in the process of removing some modern amenities.
    The cause of the fire had not been determined. Though many Amish
    families use oil lamps and wood furnaces to light and heat their
    homes, Hughes said, electricity was hooked up to the house and it
    might have been in use.
    Pulaski is a farming community about 55 miles northwest of
    Pittsburgh, near the Ohio border.

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    Default

    Looking at video coming in from the scene....the home is totally destroyed....it appears that the rubble collapsed into the basement.

    Chances of finding survivors appears slim.
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  5. #5
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    Unhappy

    I offer my prayers to this heartbroken community

    PULASKI, Pa. (AP) - Rudy and Lizzie Wengerd lived simply and
    worked hard, supporting their nine children with odd jobs at a
    livestock auction house and selling baked goods at flea markets.
    Dreaming of an even simpler, more traditionally Amish life, the
    Wengerds were in the process of stripping their "English," or
    modern house, of its amenities. The family also planned to take up
    farming.
    In one night, fire engulfed their wood-frame home and five of
    the Wengerds' nine children died in what fire officials are calling
    the worst tragedy ever to hit this Amish community in rural western
    Pennsylvania. The fire gutted the two-story house and left only one
    wall and a brick chimney standing.
    Authorities said Wednesday that a wood- and coal-burning furnace
    in the basement had caused the fire, although they were not sure
    whether an ember from the furnace or the heat it generated sparked
    the blaze Tuesday night. Authorities have ruled the fire was an
    accident.
    "They were hard-working people. They had, what, nine children?
    They had to be just to support their children," said Dave Ryder,
    59, owner of a diner and motel who knows the family. "These people
    lost everything they had."
    Neighbors said Rudy Wengerd worked at the Mercer Livestock
    Auction once a week. His wife, Lizzie Wengerd, and one of their
    daughters frequently baked pies and doughnuts and sold them at a
    flea market in nearby Youngstown, Ohio.
    Friends who met with the family Wednesday said there were acts
    of heroism in the short minutes before fire consumed the house.
    Bob Glenn, 57, said the family's oldest son, Gideon, about 15,
    injured his foot when he jumped from a window in the second floor,
    where the children slept. He then caught his younger brother,
    Danny.
    Meanwhile, the father put a ladder up to a second-floor window
    and rescued two children before fire pushed them back, Glenn said.
    Don Shelenberger, 71, a retired machinist who said he visited
    the family at the home of Lizzie Wengerd's mother, described the
    family's mood as somber.
    "They huddled together. They are there to comfort one another.
    I had never seen a grief-stricken house like that," Shelenberger
    said.
    Help already had arrived Wednesday in this farming community
    about 55 miles northwest of Pittsburgh, near the Ohio border.
    Shelenberger said the Wengerds were receiving donations, including
    food, furniture, jars of money and clothing.
    A funeral was scheduled Saturday in a large home of a family
    member or friend, and volunteers planned to start rebuilding the
    house Monday, Glenn said.
    Moses Miller, 26, owner of a local Amish supply store and Rudy
    Wengerd's cousin, said it wasn't the family's lost possessions that
    worried him.
    "I'm sure materially, financially, it won't be a problem. The
    problem will be the children," Miller said.
    The blaze started in the basement around 10 p.m. Tuesday and
    quickly spread through the home. The flames sent a second-floor
    room, where at least five of the children where sleeping, crashing
    into the basement, said state police Trooper Randall McPherson.
    Killed in the fire were Katie, 14; Levi, 12; Neil, 11; John, 4;
    and Jonathon, 2, police said. All five died of acute smoke and fume
    inhalation, according to Lawrence County Coroner Russell Noga.
    The parents escaped from their first-floor bedroom into the
    bitter cold with four children, but the fire was too intense for
    rescuers to get inside to rescue the others, police said.
    "This is the worst fire Pulaski Township has ever
    experienced," said Pulaski volunteer Fire Chief Richard Show.
    Ryder put out a gallon jar by his register in Ryder's Restaurant
    to collect donations for the displaced family, though he didn't
    think it would be needed.
    "The Amish take care of their own. You may come back in a week
    and see a new house where you're standing," Ryder said.

    (Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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    Post

    PULASKI, Pa. (AP) - An Amish family that lost five children in a
    fire this week is getting help from the "English" across the
    cultural divide that often keeps the two communities at arm's
    length.
    Collection jars in stores have begun to fill with cash, and
    material support from other businesses has been pledged to help the
    family, which lost five of nine children in a house fire early
    Tuesday morning.
    The English, a term used by the Amish to describe those who have
    not spurned the use of modern technology, have offered what support
    they can.
    "It's just been a great outpouring from the community and the
    surrounding area," New Wilmington Mayor Wendell Wagner told the
    Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "It is very difficult when children are
    involved; it just turns up the volume."
    Yet barriers remain between cultures, even for those whose
    mission it is to help others.
    The Red Cross has been limited in the type of aid it can give,
    as Amish men and boys wear only solid-colored, coarse trousers and
    wide-brimmed hats, and the women and girls wear full-length
    dresses.
    Instead of clothing, the Red Cross has donated enough fabric for
    the Amish to make two outfits each for Rudy and Lizzie Wengerd and
    their four surviving children.
    At Ryder's restaurant, where the Amish dine occasionally and use
    a pay phone when they have to, a collection jar for the Wengerds
    was nearly filled with cash by midday Thursday.
    Yet owner Janet Ryder acknowledged that there was only so much
    that could be done.
    "Everybody's talking about it ... 'What are they going to do
    today?' 'How can we help?"' Ryder said. "But what can you do,
    really?"
    Several lumber companies have pledged the wood for which more
    than 100 Amish carpenters are waiting, with hopes of beginning to
    build the family a new home on Monday.
    A fire that investigators believe was ignited by a coal-burning
    furnace traveled rapidly through the Wengerds' wood-frame home
    Tuesday, trapping Katie, 14; Levi, 12; Neil, 11; John, 4; and
    Jonathon, 2, on the second floor.
    The parents and four of their children were able to scramble
    from the home and tried to save the other children using a ladder,
    but were driven back by intense heat.
    In New Wilmington, a community with about 2,000 English
    residents and an equal number of Amish, there are collaborations
    between the two cultures.
    Gail Keffer, who is not Amish, owns The Amish Peddler, a
    furniture store that serves as an outlet for Amish craftsmen.
    "When something like this happens, (people) are neighbors and
    friends, not Amish and English," Keffer said.
    She said, however, that the Amish continue to maintain a their
    distance from the outside world.
    "They feel it's their responsibility to take care of their
    own," she said. "When something happens, they pull together."
    A benefit account for the Wengerds has been set up at the First
    National Bank of Slippery Rock.
    ---
    On the Net:
    First National Bank of Slippery Rock: http://www.fnbsr.com/
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    Post Followup

    PULASKI, Pa. (AP) - Before dawn Monday, the men began to gather,
    some wearing black, broad-brimmed hats and holding shovels or
    hammers, others sporting camouflage caps and driving backhoes.
    Less than a week after a devastating fire destroyed an Amish
    family's home and killed five of its nine children, work began on a
    new house, with more than 50 workers - Amish and "English" alike
    - volunteering in the subfreezing cold.
    "I just have to help out. I've known the Amish for years,"
    said 51-year-old Raymond Matey, a building contractor from Butler
    who drove over with a ladder and nails and an offer to help in any
    way that he could.
    Working next to a mound of dirt covering the remains of the old
    structure, the men dug a space for a new foundation, passing
    concrete blocks from one to another to form a support for the home.
    Lumber and stone and new windows were stacked nearby, and the
    backhoe scooped out a hole for the new house. Much of the material
    had been donated by local companies.
    Typically, it would take the Amish two or three weeks to erect a
    new home. With help from the "English" - the word the Amish have
    for their more modern neighbors - they expect to have Rudy and
    Lizzie Wengerd and their four surviving children in the house by
    week's end.
    And it will be done without blueprints or plans of any kind,
    said Bob Glenn, a non-Amish friend who has been acting as a
    spokesman for the family.
    "They just know. It's in their head," said Glenn, who lives in
    this community 55 miles northwest of Pittsburgh near the Ohio
    border. "It's just progressing real fast. ... I saw these guys
    build a 40-by-70-foot barn in eight hours."
    According to investigators, a wood and coal furnace caused the
    fire the night of Dec. 3, consuming the wood-framed home and
    sending its structure collapsing inward to the basement. The
    parents managed to escape into the bitter cold night with four of
    their children, but the fire was too intense for anyone to rescue
    the others.
    By the next morning, a single wall and a brick chimney were all
    that remained of the home.
    Killed in the fire were Katie, 14; Levi, 12; Neil, 11; John, 4;
    and Jonathon, 2, police said. They were buried Saturday.
    The workers hope to have the family into their new home -
    directly behind the old one - Friday night or Saturday, depending
    on how work progresses. As long as the weather remains clear,
    without snow or rain, the house should be done on time, Glenn said.
    On Monday, the community's involvement in the rebuilding process
    was evident. Food was donated for the workers; companies
    volunteered equipment to help.
    The Amish often use non-Amish companies to help with their
    homes, at least for the pouring of the concrete foundations. On
    Monday, the English did that and also worked side-by-side with
    their neighbors, men in insulated coveralls standing next to Amish
    wearing denim work coats, their beards hanging down to their
    collars.
    "It was a tragedy and everybody wants to help out," said Alice
    Womer, who brought pizza and sandwiches from her restaurant in
    nearby New Wilmington.
    Through it all, the Amish worked diligently, trying to avoid the
    attention of the media.
    "We appreciate all you English have done for us," said one
    Amish man, who declined to give his name, "but we don't want to
    talk."

    (Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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