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Leechburg house fire Sunday ruled accidental

Mary Ann Thomas
| Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017, 3:45 p.m.
Firefighters said they were able to knock down a house fire within five minutes at 420 Washington Ave. in Leechburg Sunday evening.
Mary Ann Thomas
Firefighters said they were able to knock down a house fire within five minutes at 420 Washington Ave. in Leechburg Sunday evening.

Leechburg's fire chief ruled Sunday evening's house fire at 420 Washington Ave. was accidental.

The cause is unknown.

A family of six who rented the home lost most of their possessions, according to Tom Foster, chief of Leechburg's volunteer fire department.

They can't return to their two-story frame home because the structure is uninhabitable, with fire severely damaging the second floor, he said.

The fire started about 7 p.m. in a second-floor bedroom when two men and two of the family's four children were home, according to Foster.

The children are between the ages of 13 and 19. They got out of the house quickly, he said.

When the fire department arrived, “the men were grabbing what they could as they came out the door,” Foster said.

Firefighters quickly knocked down the blaze.

The Rev. Gary Lyon, who is a Leechburg firefighter, identified the mother of the family as Marcella Blumeraitis.

Attempts to reach Blumeraitis on Tuesday night were unsuccessful.

But she expressed thanks to everyone who helped her family in a post on her publicly accessible Facebook page Monday.

“I don't even know where to start... I want to thank everyone for everything they have done for me and my family this past evening when our home caught on fire!!” Blumeraitis wrote. “Firstly, The Leechburg Fire Department, thank you for responding quickly and tarping our furniture and fish tanks to prevent water damage and also for retrieving all of my family photos from that room!! Y'all are awesome!”

She continue to thank neighbors, friends, family, schoolteachers, aides and other community members who “came to offer any assistance they could!”

“This is truly the worst thing our family has ever been through,” Blumeraitis wrote. “We all made it out safe but lost a lot!”

Blumeraitis also shared the clothing and shoe sizes of the children in her post, and said the Leechburg Fire Hall is a place where donations can be made.

Mary Ann Thomas is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-226-4691, mthomas@tribweb.com or via Twitter @MaThomas_Trib. Staff writer Madasyn Czebiniak contributed.

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