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Blaze guts Carroll home

| Thursday, Aug. 16, 2012, 12:02 a.m.
Sandra Sutton checks out the fire damage caused to her Carroll Township home early Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2012.
Sandy Sutton is pictured in the aftermath of a fire that gutted her home at 841 East Main St., Carroll Township Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2012.

Sandy Sutton smelled the smoke before making a terrible discovery.

“I went to pull back the curtain in the hallway and it was nothing but smoke,” Sutton said. “The closer I got to the living room, the worse the smoke was.” Sutton crawled on the floor of her 841 East Main St. home to safety.

“I tried to stay down. I grabbed my medication and got out.” Except for inhaling the smoke, Sutton escaped the blaze Wednesday morning relatively unscathed.

But her home of 20 years was gutted. And while recently in the hospital for surgery, Sutton's home insurance expired, she said.

A state police fire marshal deemed the fire accidental in nature. The cause of the fire was cigarette ashes dumped into a garbage bag, according to the fire marshal.

But Sutton disagreed with that assessment.

“It started in the kitchen. I went into the kitchen and it was nothing but flames. I do not think it had anything to do with me smoking,” Sutton said, lighting a cigarette, hours after the blaze was extinguished.

A passing motorist saw the flames and called 911 shortly before 8 a.m.

Carroll Township, New Eagle, Monongahela, Donora, Valley Inn and Bentleyville firefighters responded as well as Tri-Community Ambulance and Monongahela and Carroll police.

Route 837 between Monongahela and Donora was shut down until 10.

Southwestern Pennsylvania Human Services protective services were on the scene and are providing Sutton with assistance. Officials are attempting to provide housing for the fire victim.

“I knew I had to get out now,” Sutton said. “The flames were up in a couple of minutes and the whole kitchen was on fire.”

Chris Buckley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2642 or