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Westmoreland

Jeannette house fire destroys addition, claims life of pet

Renatta Signorini
| Friday, March 24, 2017, 11:36 a.m.

Dave Carson was having coffee with a friend Friday morning at his Jeannette home when he heard screaming outside.

“I realized it was my neighbor,” Carson said. “She was screaming for ‘help, help!' ”

He ran outside and saw flames shooting out of a house across Chestnut Street. He grabbed Gracey, a dachshund, from the sidewalk and put the animal in his friend's van. But two dogs remained inside the burning home.

Carson grabbed a crowbar and pried a lock off a garage door to rescue Junior, a Mastiff.

“I got the dog out of the garage before anything happened to him,” he said.

Trapped inside was a Shar-Pei/Labrador mix named Frankie, family members said.

Firefighters responded just before 10 a.m. to the two-story residence, which had an addition built on the side with living space in the upper level and a garage below.

Chief Vance Phillips said it appears the blaze started in the living room of the addition.

The cause is under investigation.

“There was so much smoke ... that we couldn't even see the fire,” Phillips said. “We had two roofs to deal with.”

Siblings Mary McCoy and Mike Blasco watched as firefighters extinguished flames at their childhood home. Their 85-year-old mother still lives there but is hospitalized for an unrelated illness, they said.

“A lot of memories in that house,” said McCoy, whose home next door was damaged by the heat. “I remodeled it so I could live next to my mom and dad. It's a blessing no one was hurt.”

The home, which Blasco estimated has been in the family for 100 years, was heavily damaged. His niece and her husband were house-sitting, and their son was at school when the fire started.

“Everybody's OK, except one dog didn't make it,” said Blasco, 59, of Greensburg.

Renatta Signorini is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-837-5374 or rsignorini@tribweb.com.

Firefighters battle a house fire on Chestnut Street in Jeannette on Friday, March 24, 2017.
Renatta Signorini
Firefighters battle a house fire on Chestnut Street in Jeannette on Friday, March 24, 2017.
Firefighters battle a house fire on Chestnut Street in Jeannette on Friday, March 24, 2017.
Renatta Signorini
Firefighters battle a house fire on Chestnut Street in Jeannette on Friday, March 24, 2017.
Dave Carson of Jeannette with Junior, a Mastiff, that he helped rescue from a his neighbor’s Chestnut Street home on Friday, March 24, 2017.
Renatta Signorini
Dave Carson of Jeannette with Junior, a Mastiff, that he helped rescue from a his neighbor’s Chestnut Street home on Friday, March 24, 2017.
Laura Inks consoles Gracey, a dachshund, that escaped a burning home in Jeannette on Friday, March 24, 2017. The Chestnut Street home belongs to her grandmother.
Renatta Signorini
Laura Inks consoles Gracey, a dachshund, that escaped a burning home in Jeannette on Friday, March 24, 2017. The Chestnut Street home belongs to her grandmother.
Firefighters battle a house fire on Chestnut Street in Jeannette on Friday, March 24, 2017.
Renatta Signorini
Firefighters battle a house fire on Chestnut Street in Jeannette on Friday, March 24, 2017.
Firefighters battle a house fire on Chestnut Street in Jeannette on Friday, March 24, 2017.
Renatta Signorini
Firefighters battle a house fire on Chestnut Street in Jeannette on Friday, March 24, 2017.
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