BRIDGEVILLE (KDKA) — Neighbors are lending a helping hand after a fire Saturday night in Bridgeville left two families homeless and killed a dog.
The blaze began at about 7:30 p.m. at the side of one home and spread quickly to another.
Home video, taken minutes after the flames were discovered, shows how quickly the fire grew.
No one was home in the house where the fire started. Next door, a woman barely made it out with her 18-month-old son.
“She was dressing the baby and saw the fire and ran from the house as the fire was coming after her,” said Barbara Chilleo, a neighbor. “She came out and the wires were coming down on her. It was a frightful, a very frightful scene.”
Family members in the home where the fire started were at a wedding and came home to find their black Labrador dog had not survived despite attempted help from neighbors.
“I came up the driveway to see if the dog was in that garage or something, but as soon as I got about three-feet away, the kitchen windows blew out and then it was just engulfed,” said Dan Beck, another neighbor.
Ten different fire companies fought the blaze, but neighbors say it was 20 or 30 minutes before the volunteers got there. By that time there wasn’t much they could do but keep it from spreading.
The fire burned the siding on a home across the street, which the owner says is a minor problem.
“My siding can be replaced; they’ve lost everything. I’ve just opened my home to them. They can stay with me as long as they absolutely need to, any of them,” said Chilleo. “All of us on the street are the same way. Any of us would open our doors for any of them.”
Neighbors have started collecting donations and planning fundraisers to help the families replace what they’ve lost. A benefit dinner has already been planned at Piccolina’s restaurant in Upper St. Clair on Sept. 18 from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.