NORTH HUNTINGDON TOWNSHIP, Pa. --
An 83-year-old woman died in a Westmoreland County house fire Saturday evening that totally destroyed the house.
Police identified the victim as Helen Vrtacnik. She was transported to Excela Health Westmoreland Hospital at Jeannette, where she was pronounced dead.
North Huntingdon Assistant Fire Chief Garrett Kimmel said about a dozen firefighters were called to the house in the 9900 block of McClelland Street at about 6:30 p.m.
"Originally, we didn't know the fire was in the basement," Kimmel told WTAE Channel 4 Action News. "The floor was already burnt through the living room. The home appears to be a total loss."
Three firefighters who collapsed during the fire fight were released from an area hospital.
Township police said alternative heat sources caused the electrical system to malfunction, which sparked the fire.
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