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Elderly woman escapes blaze

| Monday, May 14, 2012, 4:26 a.m.

An elderly Mt. Pleasant woman needed assistance to get out of her home on New Year's Day when a kitchen fire spread through her house.

Mt. Pleasant Assistant Fire Chief Joseph Rudnik said Ann Rysz, 81, of 29 Rumbaugh Ave., suffered smoke inhalation when a fire began in the kitchen of her two-story, wood-frame home. Rysz was treated and released at Frick Hospital in Mt. Pleasant, a hospital spokeswoman said.

The fire, which was reported at 2:03 p.m., spread up to the ceiling and into the attic, breaking through the roof, Rudnik said. It caused an unestimated amount of damage from smoke and water, Rudnik said.

Rudnik said Rysz was removed from the house by one of her relatives and personnel from Mt. Pleasant Emergency Medical Services.

The firefighters responded quickly to the alarm and had the fire under control within minutes of arriving at the scene. The assistant chief said they had to cut a hole in the roof to vent the heat and smoke.

Rysz's son, Irwin Rysz Jr. of Mt. Pleasant Township, said his mother called him and told him the kitchen was on fire. She also called other relatives, one of whom came to remove her from the house.

Mt. Pleasant firefighters were assisted by units from Norvelt, Hecla, East Huntingdon Township, Scottdale and Greensburg Salvage. They were on the scene for about 2½ hours.

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