A Neshannock Township mother and daughter died this morning when a fire broke out at their Old Plank Road home.
Melanie Keller, 48, and her daughter, Jazmyn Keller, 12, both of 2939 Old Plank Road, were pronounced dead at the scene by Lawrence County Deputy coroner Richard Johnson. He said autopsies will be at 4 p.m. today at Heritage Valley Medical Center, Beaver.
Firemen were called to a structure fire with possible entrapment at 8:47 a.m. Thursday.
Neshannock Township Volunteer Fire Department, the first on the scene, found the house engulfed in flames and thick smoke. The department was assisted by volunteer departments from New Wilmington and Mahoning Township.
According to Johnson, Neshannock Township was asked to provide a back hoe to extricate the victims from the house after the second floor of the structure collapsed onto the first floor.
The Neshannock Township police department has taken the lead in the investigation and is joined by the Pennsylvania state police fire marshal and the Lawrence County coroner's office. An arson-detecting dog from Beaver Falls was also brought in to assist the investigation.
(This story was updated with new information at 3:02 p.m.)