Bensalem Mother, daughter die in Bensalem storm-related fire

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Police reported that an early morning Wednesday conflagration in Bensalem claimed the lives of two women and injured three volunteer fire fighters.

Authorities confirmed the death of two women in an early morning fire in Bensalem on Wednesday where three volunteer firefighters were injured.

The fatalities, identified as Helen Markett, age 95, and her daughter, Kathy Griffin, 64, died in the blaze.

Bensalem Sgt. Andrew Aninsman reported that a passerby was the first who spotted the fire in the 2900 block of Marion Avenue who immediately dialed 911.

Fire investigators believed that the cause was a storm-related electrical malfunction caused by Sandy.

The house was almost totally engulfed in flames when volunteer firefighters from four Bensalem companies arrived at the house just located off Street Road about 3 o’clock in the morning, said Bensalem Battalion Chief Robert Sponheimer. Courageous fire fighters rushed to meet the roaring flames to enter and save the trapped women. One was inside the bathroom, the other was found in the bedroom, as related by Sponheimer.

The first woman was carried out of the house within five minutes of dispatch and the second was out within eight minutes.

Sponheimer conjectured that Markett discovered the fire and tried to put it out using a garden hose which she could not.

The women were rushed in an ambulance and taken to Aria Health Torresdale campus in Philadelphia by the Bensalem Rescue Squad. But it was too late as both women expired shortly after the rescue.

Sponheimer said that the injuries sustained by the three firefighters were minor. Only one required hospitalization but he was soon released. Specific injuries sustained by fire fighters were not given

The single-story home was heavily damage. Sponheimer said electric power had been restored to the area about 9 p.m. The house appeared to be gutted completely while burnt household items were scattered outside. The two vehicles in the driveway, a 1980s Ford Crown Victoria and an antique pickup truck, were covered with ashes but remained undamaged.

Sponheimer said that electric power, due to the storm, had been restored to the area about 9 p.m. that was about six hours before the fire was reported.

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