DORMONT (KDKA) — Three police officers are being credited with saving the lives of an elderly Dormont man and his caregiver from a fire this morning.
Flames could be seen shooting from 1130 Biltmore Avenue around 6 a.m.
The officers were the first to arrive at the home and jumped into action.
Dormont Police Sgt. Ralph Zawischa told KDKA-TV that they could see smoke coming from the house when they got to the scene and went inside to help get Rossi Aiello, 93, out of his home safe
“We could also see smoke coming from the area of the roof of the house,” Sgt. Zawischa added, “so we were able to get the gentleman into his wheelchair, get him semi-bundled up, get him out of the house and get him over to the neighbor’s where he would be safe and warm.”
Flames quickly spread through the house. “Whenever we arrived, the fire blew up pretty good in the attic,” Dormont Fire Chief Dennis Davis added. “There was a lot of smoke.”
Some neighbors said they smelled something burning hours earlier. ”I actually drove down the street after work last night and I did smell smoke, but I didn’t really think anything of it,” Stephanie Harrod told KDKA. “It smelled like a fireplace.”
Fire investigators believe a faulty electrical circuit behind a vent in the eaves of the home apparently smoldered before igniting the roof of the home.
Thanks to the quick action of firefighters, however, Aiello’s home was spared.
Aiello is fine and will be staying at a personal care home until his home is repaired.