Family of 6 loses everything in Vandergrift fire
By Jodi Weigand
Published: Thursday, Dec. 27, 2012, 5:04 p.m.
A Vandergrift couple and their four young children are homeless following a fast-moving fire at their Hawthorne Street home on Thursday afternoon.
Resident Britnee Shaulis, 25, said she came downstairs shortly before 4 p.m. and saw a small fire on their live Christmas tree.
“It was a little tiny fire and my friend tried to drag it out, but it went up so fast,” Shaulis said. “I grabbed my three kids, I carried them all at once, and ran out.”
By 4:30 p.m., the two-story house was gutted.
She and her children, ages 1 to 5, were not injured. A fourth child also lived there, but wasn't home at the time of the fire.
As Shaulis and her husband, Shane Haltiner, 26, stood outside a friend's house looking at the shell of their home, Shaulis worried about her children.
“My kids don‘t even have shoes,” she said. “They have the outfits they were wearing.
“I don't know what we're going to do,” she said, as tears streamed down her face.
“Everyone is OK. That's what I was worried about,” said Haltiner, trying to console his wife. “That stuff doesn't matter.”
Vandergrift fire Chief Steve Potoka said the flames likely spread to a nearby entertainment center, out the window and up to the roof.
Kimberly Coleman, who lives across the street in the Carriage Dale Apartments, said she heard a loud pop and looked out her window to see the house on fire.
“There were flames just pouring out of it,” she said.
Potoka said he planned to contact the American Red Cross to request assistance for the family.
Haltiner said they'd likely spend the night with relatives.
Jodi Weigand is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-226-4702 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- 4-year-old’s death from brain cancer won’t stop fight in her name
- Avonmore parents enter disabled child in contest for wheelchair-accessible van
- Coxcomb Hill Road reopened; Kerr Road still closed in Plum
- New Kensington police decline to identify stabbing victims amid investigation
- Allegheny Township supervisors agree to rezone land for farming
- Lower Burrell restaurant’s noise subject of Liquor Control Board hearing
- South Butler students gain respect for farming through Agriculture Club
- Fire destroys Frazer home; family was out at the time
- Youngest of 3 Hays eaglets eating as parents have provided a lot of food
- Peregrine falcons hang around Tarentum Bridge
- Leechburg adds 2 part-time police officers