Neighbors rescue woman from fire in Elizabeth Township
By Patrick Cloonan
Published: Tuesday, April 9, 2013, 5:09 p.m.
Firefighters remained at the scene late into Tuesday night of a fire that destroyed a shed, an adjacent house and some nearby woods in Elizabeth Township.
“I heard the explosion and I looked up and saw all that black smoke and I called 911,” neighbor Dorothy Howell said about the blaze up the hill from Wolfe Drive and Simpson Howell Road.
Allegheny County dispatchers said the call came in at 3:19 p.m. It brought multiple fire companies to the home of 74-year-old auctioneer Earl Beatty and his 72-year-old wife Janice at 530 Simpson Howell Road.
The Allegheny County fire marshal's office is investigating the cause.
Earl Beatty told Trib Total Media news exchange partner WPXI-11 that he was in the shed recharging a battery when he saw smoke.
“The side of the house caught fire first and the wind was blowing it around back. It actually then went around the back and then back to the front,” he said.
Neighbors helped get the couple and their three pet dogs out of the house.
“She didn't want to leave,” Howell said of Janice Beatty, her cousin. “But they got her out of there.”
Howell said Janice Beatty used oxygen.
“Everyone is accounted for,” township police Chief Robert McNeilly said as he directed alternating traffic up and down a single lane of busy Simpson Howell Road.
Dispatchers said the flames triggered several brush fires in the surrounding area.
Earl Beatty said he lost hundreds of antiques in the flames, but has insurance.
“What can you do?” he told WPXI. “Everyone got out and it's only money.”
Neighbors reported hearing several explosions, but police and firefighters have not confirmed those reports.
The fire broke out at the start of the afternoon rush hour when students were being bused home from nearby Elizabeth Forward High School. McNeilly said the fire could be seen from the school.
Authorities said one firefighter suffered minor injuries and was taken to a nearby hospital by Elizabeth Township Area EMS.
Firefighters from throughout the township and as far away as Pleasant Hills and Sutersville responded. Gallatin-Sunnyside volunteers from Forward Township remained on call at the nearby Central Volunteer Fire Co. hall late on Tuesday.
West Penn Power and Peoples Natural Gas crews also were called, and the Salvation Army sent an emergency services van.
Water had to be brought in on high-pressure lines from hydrants some distance away along Simpson Howell. A Jefferson Hills 885 Area company truck was seen carting water up the hill.
For Dorothy Howell, the fire brought back memories. Not far from her home is Howell Craft Inc., which was ravaged by a fast-moving fire in 2009.
With the help of their family and company employees, Dorothy and her husband Herbert Howell rebuilt the stone yard, shop and office over the next year.
Patrick Cloonan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1967, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
- Kovacevic: Bylsma’s moves — yes, moves — pay off
- 4 dead in ‘horrific’ Armstrong County crash
- Police see no sign Franklin Regional stabbing suspect was bullied
- Man to serve 75 to 100 years in prison for Shadyside rape
- Penguins rally to escape with a victory in Game 1 against Columbus
- Physical Columbus team is a hit in playoff opener against Penguins
- Good Friday: Some offices will be open, some closed
- Former Pitt captain Cavanaugh blazes trail as entrepreneur
- Fayette County attorney pleads guilty to possessing illegal drugs delivered to client
- South Fayette parents express dissatisfaction with handling of bullying
- Rural Valley postmaster sentenced for embezzing post office funds