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April 26, 2010


UPDATE: Friends of Kirsten and Katrina Tolley will be received at Shoemaker Funeral Home in Blairsville on Tuesday, April  27 from 7 to 9 p.m.. A funeral service will be held Wednesday at 11 a.m. at Hebron Lutheran Church in Blairsville. There has been a trust fund set up for the fire victims of yesterday's fire in Blairsville. Contributions can be made to: PNC Bank (any branch) - Tolley Sisters Trust Fund.

State police fire marshal Tim Frew has not yet determined what caused yesterday's fatal fire in Blairsville. Meanwhile, Indiana County Coroner Mike Baker says autopsies on the two little girls who perished in the blaze show they died from asphyxia due to smoke inhalation.

The bodies of 7-year-old Kirsten Tolley and her 6-year-old sister, Katrina, were found in an upstairs bedroom of the two-story wood-frame home at 115 N. Stewart Street. The girls had been staying at the home of Travis and Erin Lee Jordan for a Saturday night sleepover with the Jordan’s daughter, Montana. The Tolley sisters are the daughters Jennifer Coursen and her fiancé Michael Bell of North Morrow Street, who planned to adopt them after their marriage.

Travis Jordan suffered moderate injuries as he tried to get to the back bedroom where the girls had been sleeping. Erin and Montana Jordan escaped with minor injuries. 
More than seven fire departments (from Blairsville, Blacklick, Homer City, Indiana, Coral-Graceton and nearby Westmoreland County communities) fought the fire, which was first reported at 7:13 AM.  

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