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2 Jeannette women rescued from burning apartment building

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014, 1:03 p.m.

Jeannette firefighters and police officers rescued two women who were trapped in their smoke-filled Michigan Avenue apartments early Tuesday.

Another tenant suffered smoke inhalation and burns to his feet and was taken to Excela Health Westmoreland Hospital in Greensburg, according to Capt. Chuck Miller.

Miller said the man was cooking hash browns in his first-floor apartment just before 6 a.m. when the food caught fire. When he tried to extinguish it with water, the mixture spread the flames.

“You put water on a grease fire and it basically explodes,” Miller said.

“Adding water just made it worse,” said fire Chief Joe Matijevic.

Miller said the man living in the apartment where the fire started had escaped the building when firefighters arrived. But he checked a second-floor apartment and found a woman trapped by thick smoke.

“The call was there was smoke in the building and that people were trapped. The woman was on the phone to 911 saying she was trapped in her apartment,” he said.

A woman in a first-floor apartment who is bedridden was carried out of the building by police Sgt. Jose Gonzales and Officer Don Johnston.

“We had everybody rescued and out of the building by 6:05 a.m.,” Miller said. “The fire was under control by 6:20 a.m.”

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