Timing right for firefighter to get woman, 84, out of burning house
An elderly Charleroi woman who was unaware her house was burning Tuesday afternoon, escaped quickly and unharmed, thanks to a bit of luck.
Doug Prentice Sr., the Charleroi Volunteer Fire Department's second assistant chief, was walking his dogs around 4 p.m. when he smelled smoke.
Prentice got into his car and found the source of the odor: the 804 Fifth St. residence of Lorraine Brown, 84.
“As soon as I got there, there was a brownish-white smoke coming from the roof,” Prentice said. “I radioed 911, then started banging on the door to see if she was there, because I knew she has been there for a good many years.
“Then I ran around to the front and started banging on that door.”
Prentice said Brown, who was upstairs when he arrived, finally emerged from a rear door that faces Blythe Way. Firefighters arrived soon after and were able to douse the attic fire by using two large hoses.
“I said, ‘You need to get out of here because your house is on fire,'” Prentice said. “She had smelled the smoke, but she thought it was coming from the outside, that someone was burning something.
“When I went into the house, there was no evidence that there was a fire because everything was up in the attic and roof.”
Brown's daughter, Jodi Shuback, said her mother was physically fine but shaken up. Shuback said her mother has lived in the residence for 49 years.
Prentice said the fire appeared to be electrical in nature and the flames were contained to the inside of the attic walls. From ground level, a hole through a portion of the roof was visible through the front upstairs window.
“There was a lot of insulation we had to go through. That was the worst part because that stuff just smolders,” Prentice said. “There were wires where the fire was at, but that's not our expertise. The state police fire marshal will verify the findings (Wednesday).”
No firefighters required treatment despite the 90-degree heat.
The Charleroi, Lock Four and Stockdale fire departments responded to the fire. Charleroi Regional Police, the Bentleyville Rapid Intervention Unit and Mon Valley Emergency Medical Services also responded.
Prentice said he was fortunate to be in the right place at the right time.
“I guess it worked out OK. If that would've happened later at night ... I don't know,” Prentice said. “Timing is everything.”
Rick Bruni Jr. is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com or 724-684-2635.
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.
- Police investigating shooting outside of Monessen bar
- Coal Center’s High Point restaurant for sale as owners ease into retirement
- Monessen amphitheater proves to be crowd pleaser
- Mon Valley communities put spotlight on Christmas season
- Monongahela grad inducted into state Sports Hall of Fame
- Colonial leaders extended legacy to Mon Valley towns
- Police: Alleged Monongahela equipment thief faces charges
- DEP cites Monessen coke plant 6 times
- New Manos Theatre opened in glorious fashion in Monessen
- Rostraver woman killed in apparent murder-suicide had reported abuse, court records show
- Mon City arrests net 183 stamp bags of heroin