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Woman Dies After House Fire in Carbon County

LOWER TOWAMENSING TOWNSHIP -- A woman was trapped inside her burning home in Carbon County.

The elderly woman was trapped inside the place on Gap Road in Lower Towamensing Township near Palmerton when the fire broke out around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday.

State police have identified the victim as Conchita Perschy, 81. The coroner said she died from smoke inhalation.

Emergency crews say it took about an hour to put out the flames. That's when they discovered the body of Perschy.

A section of 3rd Street in Palmerton which leads up to the house had to be blocked off as firefighters went back and forth to the nearest hydrant. Firefighters say it was tough fighting the flames because the house sits on a narrow dirt road with no hydrant.

Randy Gombert, her grandson, lives next door and tried to rescue his grandmother.

"Seeing it with your own two eyes, it's still hard to believe after I witnessed it and tried to get in there," said Gombert.

From the kitchen, Gombert heard a loud bang, so he rushed to the house to rescue his grandmother.

"I picked up a rock in the driveway over here and threw one through the front window, and a brick on the stoop and steps, I grabbed that and threw that in, busted the windows, grabbed up onto the window ledge started, to pull myself up and the smoke and the flames were just too much and too hot and the smoke was burning my eyes. I couldn't do nothing. It was too late," said Gombert.

Now as the family looked on at the remains of a house built in the 1970s, they tell Newswatch 16 they wanted to remember the good times.

"She was a kind person. She was all about her children and her grandchildren," said daughter Stephanie Messinger.  "She basically stayed to herself. She had little ailments, but she was a happy-go-lucky person."

"She was a good woman did a lot for me," added Gombert.  "I live right here which is very close, I mean 150 yards. Every day, I pretty much talked to her and seen her every single day."

A state fire marshal is investigating.

1 Comment

  • FF

    Sad story. That said, DO NOT break windows or leave doors open in an attempt to rescue. This only lets more air in to feed the fire. Too many fires have only been exacerbated by people that think they’re doing the right thing. Keep doors and windows closed in a fire – doors only open long enough for passage.

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