Family escapes Thanksgiving fire, now in need of help
Three people safely evacuated a house fire in Cranberry early Thanksgiving morning just hours before they would have gotten up to prep their holiday meal.
Authorities said the fire at 507 Edinboro Court was likely caused by an electrical malfunction with the kitchen's refrigerator, and nothing in the home was salvageable.
While the kitchen sustained fire damage, the rest of the home sustained water or smoke damage.
The fire caused about $120,000 in damage to the insured home, though the home's contents were uninsured.
Homeowner Bernadette D'Ambrosi said she slept through the home's fire alarms and was alerted to the blaze by her nephew, Michael Helmeci, 20, who was staying with her overnight. Her older son, Coty Maccaglia, 17, was not home at the time of the fire.
After D'Ambrosi got Christian Franz, her 4-year old son, out of the home, she was unable to rescue her pet Shih Tzu despite several attempts.
“He just kept running away from me, and soon I couldn't see anything in front of me,” D'Ambrosi said. “I hoped he would go out of the back door.”
Authorities said first responders were at the scene at 3:1 5a.m., three minutes after they were called. Twenty-four Cranberry firefighters responded to the fire, and firefighters from Zelienople, Harmony and Marshall assisted them.
“Crews encountered heavy smoke and went in through a side door to get to the fire,” said Capt. Dennis Kimmel of the Cranberry Township Volunteer Fire Company.
“We ventilated the structure out, and our guys did an excellent job knocking down the fire in 30 minutes.”
The Butler County Chapter of the American Red Cross put the family in a hotel room for five days, and D'Ambrosi said her family is staying there until she hopefully finds a new place of residence near her workplace in Moon Township.
Clothes donations for the family can be dropped off at 394 Ambard Avenue, Pittsburgh.
To learn more about how to help the family, D'Ambrosi can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shawn Annarelli is a freelance writer with Trib Total Media.
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.
- Zelienople family relishes opportunity to host children during summer
- Children learn about 18th century living at Providence Plantation in Evans City