Two people escaped a house fire early Friday along West Deer’s Quigley Road, but five pets died inside, officials said.
Homeowner Justin Johoda, 33, was awakened and alerted of the fire shortly after
5 a.m. by a friend who had been sleeping on a couch, according to West Deer police Sgt. Darren Mikus.
Johoda and the unidentified friend made their way through thick smoke to get outside.
Mikus said Johoda tried to go back inside the small, white-frame house to rescue the family’s pets, but was overpowered by the smoke and flames.
Two dogs, a cat and two kittens died, Mikus said.
“Johoda loved those pets,” he said. “He would have gone in if it was possible.”
Johoda was taken to a hospital for smoke inhalation. His condition wasn’t available.
The rest of the family was at a relative’s house at the time of the fire.
The house, just off Saxonburg Boulevard, was consumed by flames when firefighters arrived. The West Deer No. 2 fire house is only about a quarter-mile away.
The Allegheny County Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating.
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