West Deer firefighter helps family escape burning home
A volunteer firefighter's “split-second” decision to drive by a reported house fire before reporting to the station might have saved a West Deer family early on Sunday.
A couple and one of their three children were sleeping in their Dawn Road home, unaware that flames were already through the roof.
Miste Wiegand, 27, a firefighter since 2004 with West Deer Volunteer Fire Co. No. 3, said she lives in the same housing plan, Fawn Haven 3, as the home that burned in the 4500 block of Dawn Road.
Neighbors reported the fire to 911 about 5:40 a.m.
After being awakened by a pager alerting her to the fire, Wiegand realized the address was less than a mile away. She went by the house first, which she said took her “just a smidgen” out of the way of her route to the fire station, to see if there really was a fire.
“I saw the flames. The house is burning,” she said. “I saw there were cars still in the driveway. I was, like, ‘Oh my God, there are people still inside.'”
Wiegand said she first ran to the back of the house to see if anyone was outside there, yelling all the while. Finding no one, she banged on the front door. She believes her banging woke a young girl, whose screams woke the parents, who later told Wiegand they never heard her.
The residents' names were not available. Two other children were not home at the time, said West Deer fire Chief Josh Wiegand, Miste Wiegand's brother-in-law.
Chief Wiegand said the home had no working smoke detectors in the home.
“We found one that did not have a battery in it,” he said.
Firefighters believe the fire started on the ground floor and went through a wall into the attic. An Allegheny County fire marshal is investigating the cause. No one was injured.
Chief Wiegand said the fire caused extensive damage, but he could not provide a cost estimate.
The American Red Cross is providing the family with emergency relief.
Miste Wiegand said she doesn't see herself as a hero.
“I just think it's something anybody else would have done,” she said.
“The most important possession got out, and that's the family.”
Bob Bauder and Brian Rittmeyer are staff writers for Trib Total Media. Bauder can be reached at 412-765-2312 or firstname.lastname@example.org; Rittmeyer can be reached at 724-226-4701 or email@example.com.
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.
- Allegheny County adoption event joins 40 children with families
- Man’s death by runaway wheel on Route 28 ruled accident
- WVU frat brothers charged with hazing pledges
- Newsmaker: Christopher W. Robinson
- 6 shot at Clairton speakeasy; police seek suspects
- Emergency personnel contain fire at Whitehall apartment complex
- Youngsters embrace technology that combines art, software in 3D printing
- Cybersecurity experts warn Pittsburgh conference about dangers of hacking
- Baltimore man killed in McKeesport crash
- ‘Collapse’ displaces 20 residents of condemned Penn Hills rowhouses
- Snow traps Niagara University women’s hoops team on bus for 26 hours