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Passer-by helps woman exit Beaver County house fire

| Sunday, Jan. 27, 2013, 8:13 p.m.

A passer-by helped one occupant out of a burning home in Beaver County, and firefighters saved an unconscious man overcome by smoke early Sunday.

“I didn't think we were going to pull somebody out of there who would be still breathing and alive,” said Chad Crawford, assistant fire chief of the Darlington Township Volunteer Fire Department. “With the smoke and the heat, I didn't think anybody would be able to survive that in that house.”

The department received a call at 1:30 a.m. about a fire in the 3400 block of Darlington Road in Darlington. Four other volunteer departments assisted.

Crawford identified the passer-by as Ryan O'Hara. He could not be reached for comment.

Crawford said he does not know how the fire started, but it began in a bedroom.

He said the unidentified male occupant had pushed himself as close to the kitchen as he could when he was found on the floor.

“That was as far away from the bedroom as he could get,” Crawford said. “The coolest, least smoke-filled part of the house was the kitchen. Had he been anywhere else in the house, I'm not sure the outcome would be the same.”

The woman was taken to Heritage Valley Health System in Brighton Township for treatment of minor smoke inhalation. The man was flown by helicopter to UPMC Mercy, Uptown, for treatment of major smoke inhalation.

The family dog died during the blaze.

Crawford said the first floor of the one-story house sustained heavy fire and smoke damage, and the basement had water and smoke damage. He was unable to estimate the amount in damage.

The fire was extinguished by 3:37 a.m., according to Beaver County dispatch.

Bill Zlatos is a staff writer for TribTotal Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7828 or bzlatos@tribweb.com.

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