Pets rescued from house fire in Lower Burrell

Ron C. Balla Left in Photo – LB LEO Steve Aulerich-Center of Photo


© Images & Video Copyright Lowes Computers | Photojournalist |Paul R. Lowes | AKVNEWS.COM

Lower Burrell, Pa. – There were no injuries to report after a house fills with smoke in the 100 block of Craigdell Road just after 1:00 pm Friday afternoon.

When AKNVEWS.COM arrived on scene moments after the fire dispatch, Lower Burrell Police and an employee of the Municipal Authority of the City of New Kensington were making attempts to get inside the residence not knowing if someone was trapped inside the structure.

Ron Balla of the Municipal Authority of the City of New Kensington and Lower Burrell Law Enforcement Officer Steve Aulerich entered the structure from the back door but were met with a locked door and heavy smoke coming up the basement steps.


© Images & Video Copyright Lowes Computers | Photojournalist |Paul R. Lowes | AKVNEWS.COM

Balla told AKVNEWS.COM they hollered inside the house to try to locate anyone who might be trapped. Unable to proceed any further at the back door area, Balla and Officer Aulerich went to the unlocked front door and hit the living room floor due to heavy smoke conditions. Both men were crawling on the floor and were able to get about 20′ into the living room when Officer Aulerich suggested to get out due to heavy smoke. Both men exited the structure safely but sustained irritating eye conditions from the thick brown smoke.


© Images & Video Copyright Lowes Computers | Photojournalist |Paul R. Lowes | AKVNEWS.COM

A next-door neighbor told police she believed there were dogs inside the residence and could be seen in an upstairs window. Fire crews entered the front of the structure with a fire hose while another crew used a chainsaw to cut into a garage door attempting to ventilate the structure of smoke and heat. Within a minute or so, the cutting operation on the door was halted as fire crews were unsure if feeding the inside of the structure with fresh air would cause an undesirable result. Fire crews were able to extinguish the fire in the basement.

While crews worked in the basement area, one firefighter removed a cage from the structure containing two birds followed by one of 2 dogs inside the residence. The owner arrived on scene tending to the dog, then minutes that same owner was seen carrying another dog to his vehicle.

Balla later said he turned on a scanner to find out what was going on after an older gentleman pointed out where the fire was located on Craigdell Road. Sources reported heavy smoke damage to the inside of the structure and no human injuries were reported.

Assisting Lower Burrel FD was Kinlock FD, Arnold FD and Upper Burrell VFD. A Westmoreland County Sheriff assisted with traffic control along with New Kensington patrol units. Sources reported the fire began in the basement, possibly electrical or a dryer fire. Crews were on scene for about 2 1/2 hours.


© Images & Video Copyright Lowes Computers | Photojournalist |Paul R. Lowes | AKVNEWS.COM