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Ford City house fire causes mostly smoke damage

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By Patrick Shuster
Thursday, May 27, 2010

FORD CITY — A mother and her two children climbed onto their neighbor's roof after thick smoke filled their Sixth Avenue home Wednesday night.

Jackie Kunst and her 9-year-old daughter and 11-year-old son, were alerted to the fire shortly before 11 p.m. at their home at 733 Sixth Ave. after Kunst got out of the shower to find her house full of smoke.

A friend, who is caring for the family's dog, said Kunst told him the children were asleep and she had gone to take a shower just before the fire was noticed. She reported that the smoke was thick and she had a hard time seeing in the house to find her children.

Ford City Fire Department Chief Scott Gaiser said that the family and its dog, Jake, had climbed out an attic window and were on the next door neighbor's porch roof when firefighters arrived. Firefighters were able to use a ladder to help the family to safety.

All three were taken to ACMH Hospital as a precaution because of the smoke, Gaiser said.

"Basically we believe the fire started with a candle on the dining room table," Gaiser said. "There was a small pile of clothes and some paper on the table that caught fire. Damage was limited to the table, but the whole house has smoke damage."

Ford City firefighters were assisted by crews from Kittanning Hose Cos. 1, 4 and 6, Manor Township and Ford Cliff fire departments. Ford City Police and Ambulance also assisted at the scene. Crews were on scene for nearly two hours.

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