Tube City Almanac

October 20, 2014

Donations Sought for Family of Fire Victims

Category: News || By Staff and Submitted Reports

A friend of six people killed in a house fire Saturday morning in the city's 10th Ward section have set up an online fundraising drive to defray funeral costs and medical bills for the sole survivor.

The fund, set up by Amanda Grimes of Charleroi, has raised more than $9,000 of a $20,000 goal.

Grimes is the mother of the niece of Hope Jordan, 27, who died in the blaze along with her four children, Dominic Jordan, 7; Autumn Jordan, 6; Serenity Jakub, 3; and Victoria Jordan, 2; and her father-in-law, Ronald Egenlauf Sr., 55, according to the Allegheny County Medical Examiner's Office.

Her husband, Keith Egenlauf, 23, was badly burned in the fire and is in critical condition at UPMC Mercy Hospital, Uptown section of Pittsburgh.

The medical examiner ruled Sunday that the victims died of acute smoke and fume inhalation. According to emergency officials, the blaze in the two-story wood frame home on Express Alley, near the CSX railroad tracks, broke out before 7 a.m. Saturday, and heavy flames and smoke were present when McKeesport firefighters arrived on the scene.

Investigators have determined that the fire began in the living room of the house, on the first floor, Alvin Henderson, chief of the county Department of Emergency Services, said on Monday. But investigators have not yet pinpointed where or how the fire exactly began, he said.

"This is still an active fire investigation and additional interviews need to be conducted," Henderson said. "Once the cause and origin of the fire have been determined, we will issue a statement, but we will not be providing any other information at this time."

A candlelight vigil in 10th Ward on Sunday night attracted hundreds of mourners, according to published reports. Funeral arrangements are in charge of Hunter-Edmundson-Striffler Funeral Home and are not yet complete.

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