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North Apollo fire leaves family of 4 without house temporarily

| Sunday, March 2, 2014, 12:01 a.m.
Jason Bridge | Valley News Dispatch
North Apollo 2nd Lt. Todd Hilty removes his gear after fighting a fire at 2122 Stoops Court in North Apollo on Saturday, March 1, 2014. No one was injured.
Jason Bridge | Valley News Dispatch
Firefighters enter the home at 2122 Stoops Court in North Apollo after a fire broke out earlier on Saturday, March 1, 2014. No one was injured.
Jason Bridge | Valley News Dispatch
Firefighters at 2122 Stoops Court in North Apollo sawed a makeshift doorway in a garage door in order to fight a fire in the house on Saturday, March 1, 2014. No one was injured.

Police and firefighters were briefly worried Saturday afternoon that a person was trapped inside a smoke-filled North Apollo home.

Once firefighters got inside the house at 2122 Stoops Court, they found no one was trapped.

In the end, nobody was hurt, but a family of four will be put out of their home until repairs can be made.

Fire damaged much of the basement, and there was smoke damage to the rest of the house, North Apollo fire Chief Jason Burns said.

The cause of the fire was not known.

Neighbor Ray Myers reported the fire to 911 at 1:20 p.m. He said he was driving by when he saw Cheryl Dayen standing on her porch and smoke coming out of her front door.

Dayen lives in the house with her husband Mark and two adult sons, according to authorities. She was the only one home at the time of the fire.

Dayen had a phone in her hand and was calling 911, too.

“I got through before she did,” Myers said.

Kiski Township police Officer Scott Ponteri said Dayen told him one of her sons might have been in a back bedroom.

Ponteri said he kicked open the front door but could not get more than a couple of feet inside because of the thick smoke.

Myers said he went to a door in the back and yelled inside.

“The smoke was coming out the back so bad we couldn't even get in the door,” he said.

When firefighters arrived, they immediately entered the home and went straight to the bedroom but found no one there, Ponteri said.

The son was later accounted for.

“She wasn't sure” whether her son was there, Ponteri said.

Burns said firefighters had the fire under control in about 20 minutes. They were at the scene for nearly three hours.

The Dayens own the home and are insured, Burns said. The Red Cross brought the family food, clothing, shoes and seasonal garments.

Ponteri said Dayen didn't know how the fire started. He said Dayen told him she heard a “pop” before smelling smoke and going outside.

A state police fire marshal was called to investigate the cause, Burns said.

Brian C. Rittmeyer is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4701 or brittmeyer@tribweb.com.

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