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Open wood burner fills house with smoke

| Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2007

FORD CITY -- Rebecca Beck's children called her at work Tuesday afternoon to tell her there was smoke in their duplex at 703 Fifth Ave. and the smoke alarm was going off.

"I came home and found it smelled like wood (burning)," Beck said. Beck called Armstrong 911 shortly after 2 p.m.

When firefighters from Ford City, Ford Cliff and Manor Township arrived soon after, the other side of the two-story frame duplex at 705 Fifth Ave. occupied by Robert Stewart was full of smoke.

"We found it was a woodburner in a front room that the stove's door had been left open," said Ford City Fire Department Chief Ron Wojcik. "There was no fire. The place just filled with smoke."

Wojcik said there was no damage or injuries except for a police officer who was bitten by Stewart's dog when he entered the residence.

"We had to get the dog out," said Ford City Police Sgt. Mark Brice. "The dog was just scared. It was no big deal. It barely got me on the hand."

"The dog usually kisses," Stewart said.

Stewart, who is the only resident of the house, was at work in Cadogan when firefighters arrived. He said he had recently moved there.

"It figures," Stewart said of the quick-thinking action of the next-door neighbor kids. "They're really good kids."

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