Man Dies After Pennsylvania Fire

April 21, 2008
He suffered serious burns, and jumped off a balcony to escape the fire.


A man who jumped from his fiery balcony at an East Washington Borough apartment complex has died after suffering third-degree burns on 80 percent of his body.

The fire broke out at the Jefferson Village apartments on East Wheeling Street shortly before 8 a.m. Sunday. Police and firefighters rushed into the building and told residents to get out.

"The first thing I heard -- it woke me out of bed -- was stuff falling," said Kelly Blackburn. "I looked outside my window and I saw the fire falling from the window above us. I hurried up and grabbed my son and woke up the neighbor, and me and my girlfriend, we ran outside."

Firefighters raised a ladder to a second-floor balcony where Roy Speck Jr. was stuck, but they couldn't move the ladder close enough to him, so he jumped and fell 20 feet to the ground below.

Speck was taken to UPMC Mercy Hospital's burn unit in Pittsburgh. He died on Monday morning.

Firefighter Brent Dubina fell off the ladder and tumbled to the ground during Speck's jump. He does not have serious injuries.

The fire is still under investigation.

An autopsy will determine Speck's cause of death.

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