Parks Township couple lost almost everything in late night fire
Nancy Palyok heard an odd sound just before midnight Sunday and immediately thought it was one of her cats getting into trouble.
Instead, Palyok, 68, encountered thick, black smoke filling her doublewide trailer on Penn Avenue in Parks.
Aching from her second knee replacement and still sick with a Christmastime bug, Palyok was slowly led by her husband, Ray, down the couple's steep gravel driveway to a vehicle.
“Flames were shooting out of the roof,” said neighbor Keith Hansen, who called 911.
Firefighters had to stretch hose up the driveway and from Terrace Avenue 20 yards above the trailer to battle the blaze.
“Oh my. We had the place just right. We put up log siding and three patios,” Palyok said Monday as she viewed what was left of her home.
“I still don't know what my Christmas gifts were. I guess I'll never know because I was sick all week. That is, unless they tell me,” she said.
The couple was treated for smoke inhalation and released from a local hospital. Salvation Army and Red Cross officials are talking with them.
“I guess this time of the year hasn't been good for us,” Palyok said.
Two years ago, she slipped on ice getting out of a car and the sedan ran over her leg in the driveway.
“Last year on Jan. 31, I had a mini stroke and then I broke my foot. And now this,” she said.
The fire destroyed photos of Nancy's first husband, who died eight years ago, and their children and grandchildren.
“It's gone. All gone,” she said.
She had one bright moment, though.
Her son, Matt Rice, who was visiting from North Carolina and who left for home Saturday, heard about the fire and drove back.
Parks and seven other Alle-Kiski fire companies responded to the fire, which rekindled three times, including twice Monday morning.
“Hot spots were trapped between two metal roofs,” Parks Assistant Chief Joel Brown said.
The last unit left about 10:45 a.m. Monday.
“I think we finally got it. I'm beat,” said Brown, who had been fighting the fire almost 11 hours.
Chuck Biedka is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-226-4711 or firstname.lastname@example.org.