CRAFTON HEIGHTS (KDKA) – An elderly man was killed in an early Wednesday morning fire in Crafton Heights.
According to officials, the fire broke out on Elmont Street around 6 a.m.
Firefighters knew someone was trapped inside the burning home when they first arrived, but getting to 77-year-old John Rabusseau was not easy. By the time they did get him out, it was too late.
“It appears that the owner was possibly a hoarder. There was all sorts of debris on the floor. And they had trouble getting the door down to get to the victim,” City Of Pittsburgh Fire Department Battalion Chief Doug Praskovich, said.
“It took them about 10 to 15 minutes to even get the door down. And that’s when they pulled the guy out and started doing CPR on him on the ground. He didn’t make it,” neighbor Scott Touchstone said.
“He was unresponsive. Our crews started working on him as far as trying to get him oxygen and revive him,” Battalion Chief Praskovich, said.
Neighbors said Rabusseau lived in the house for decades and has lived alone since his wife died.
“He would come over and talk. He was a really nice man,” Mary Touchstone said.
“He talked about his life, his life, his wife, his kids. He just wanted somebody to talk to, that’s all,” neighbor Chynna Coleman said.
Fire quickly spread throughout the house and there was concern about it jumping to the neighboring homes.
Because there was so much stuff inside the home, the fire was much more intense and made fighting it more difficult.
“It definitely affected the fire load in the building and it definitely ruled out any kind of interior fire attack for us too,” Battalion Chief Praskovich, said.
The cause of the fire is unknown at this time.
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