WEST DEER TOWNSHIP, Pa. (KDKA) – A 14-year-old girl is dead after a fire in West Deer Township, a family member says.
Officials have not confirmed the death, but according to the family, a 14-year-old Dayanna Shaffer did not make it out. She was an eighth grader at Deer Lakes Middle School.
“I’m just in utter shock. This happened and it shouldn’t have happened. I can’t even believe what she went through,” Brian Shaffer, Dayanna’s father, said. “I’ve never felt so numb in my life. I can’t believe my baby’s gone.
Firefighters say the flames were so intense, they couldn’t get inside the single-family home.
KDKA’s Paul Martino was told there had been some renovations going on in the house, but the fire marshal has not said if that could have been a factor.
The family’s dachshund, named Nessie, was also lost in the blaze.
Anyone with information concerning the incident is asked to call the County Police Tip Line at 1-833-ALL-TIPS.
Police have issued a warrant for 62-year-old Terry Washington. He is facing charges of arson and criminal mischief.
Police found the burning truck along Lyric Street in Pittsburgh’s Larimer neighborhood on Jan. 31. Police said there were smoke and flames coming from the driver’s side truck of the car.
The woman at the home told police she saw the man park his truck across from her house. She said he walked over and stood by the truck for approximately 10 minutes before he walked back to his truck and drove away.
She said her neighbor called her shortly after to tell her the truck was on fire. Police said they found a disposable lighter and a small plastic container near the cab of the truck.
Two fires have merged into a single blaze more than three times as big as California’s largest-ever known fire. A quarter of a million people have been urged to evacuate towns south of Sydney.
A pair of massive bushfires in southeastern Australia has merged into a “megafire” engulfing some 2,300 square miles — a single blaze more than three times as large as any known fire in California.
The merged fire, which straddles the country’s most populous states of New South Wales and Victoria, measures nearly 1.5 million acres, according to The Sydney Morning Herald. It is just one of some 135 bushfires in Australia’s southeast that have claimed the lives of at least 26 people, killed more than a billion animals and damaged or destroyed nearly 3,000 homes.
Police in Australia have arrested and charged two dozen people they say deliberately lit blazes during the wildfire season that has so far killed at least 18 people, destroyed thousands of homes and ravaged over 10 million acres of land.
New South Wales police said that since the beginning of November, 24 people have been charged over allegedly deliberately lighting fires as officers continue to investigate the role that arson has played in the devastation. Starting a wildfire can result in a jail sentence of up to 21 years.
“Investigations into the cause, origin and overall impact of fires are continuing and since the latest State of Emergency was declared…Strike Force Tronto has provided expertise to six police area commands and eight police districts,” NSW police said in a statement.