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Upper Tyrone couple lost home, 2 pets

| Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013, 7:39 a.m.
These are the charred remains of a house which became fully engulfed within minutes on Woods Road in Upper Tyrone Feb. 25. Barbara Denning | For the Independent-Observer

Frank and Ruth Bazzar lost their home and two dogs when fire ravaged the structure along Woods Road in Upper Tyrone Township.

While they were fortunate enough to have homeowners' insurance, the couple and their three young children are currently without any personal belongings, including clothes. The house fire was considered a total loss by Everson Volunteer Fire Chief Chuck Leighty.

“Right now we're just trying to find them a place to live and gather up any necessities that they need,” said Wanda Bazzar, Frank's mother. “Besides the house, they lost a couple of pets, but all of them were able to get out of the house and no one was hurt.”

Leighty said they got the call about 1:50 p.m. Tuesday. When they arrived, the fire was fully involved.

“The family was out of the house by the time we got there,” he said. “We were down there for about 3 12 hours. It was a total loss.”

He added that they haven't had a total loss house fire for quite some time, but there were some challenges with this blaze.

“The house was located in a hollow and the wind was so bad that once we thought we had it knocked down, the wind would blow and it would get going again,” Leighty said.

The fire department also had to bring in tankers from East Huntingdon and Kecksburg volunteer fire departments because the closest fire hydrant was nearly 2,000 feet away.

Scottdale, DL&V, Connellsville Township and Bullskin VFDs also responded.

Wanda Bazzar said her son had been remodeling the whole house over the last few years and was down to the last room.

“We were told it was electrical and that the fire started in the one room that had not yet been remodeled,” she said. “He had just finished the kitchen and I hadn't even seen it yet.”

Clothes are a big need for the family at this time. Frank and Ruth Bazzar have a 10-year-old girl and 8- and 5-year-old boys, all who attend the Southmoreland School District.

Anyone who would like to donate to the family can do so by sending items or money to Wanda Bazzar at 1059 Route 31, Tarrs, 15688.

Rachel Basinger is a freelance writer.

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