Steelton burn victim in critical condition; fire remains under investigation

A Dauphin County woman is in critical condition after suffering severe burns in a fire yesterday evening. It happened inside her home on the 300 block of South Fourth Street, in Steelton. Neighbors say it’s hard for them to enjoy their Labor Day picnics because they’re praying for their friend to get better soon.

Steelton neighbors living along South Fourth Street say they found 37-year-old Jennifer Hansel laying outside in a kiddie pool around 5:30 Sunday evening. She was severely burned from the waist up. Neighbors could see smoke coming from the home. Authorities say they contained the fire to the upstairs bedroom. The Lehigh Valley Burn Center says Jennifer’s in critical condition.

Mayor Tom Acri says, “We see fires, this is the first time we’ve seen a burn victim. I have seen them over my time, being in the borough, but this is the first time for quite a few years.”

Neighbor Jackie Dietrich found Jennifer outside of her home, laying in the kiddie pool, motionless. She says, “I kept asking people, is she dead, is she dead? If she was I could cry my eyes out.”

Jennifer’s boyfriend wasn’t at home when the fire started. The American Red Cross is helping out. Neighbors are taking care of the couple’s dog, Ginger. Steelton Police Officers say the cause of the fire remains under investigation. They plan on releasing details Tuesday. As of now, police and the mayor can’t confirm if the fire is suspicious.