WEST HOMESTEAD (KDKA) — A woman, her husband and two children were forced onto their porch roof overnight to escape a house fire that broke out in Homestead.
The blaze broke out just before 3 a.m. along West 13th Avenue.
Officials say the woman living in the home reportedly smelled the smoke first. The family then found the fire in the stairwell on the top floor of the home.
The husband and wife then gathered two of their children, ages 13 and 11, and they made their way onto the roof of the porch on the front of the home where they waited to be rescued.
“They said that they smelled something burning and when they went into the hallway they saw the fire and they just gathered their kids and went right onto the roof,” Chief Bill Purifoy, of the Homestead Fire Department.
Once crews arrived on the scene, Homestead firefighter Ron-Del May grabbed a ground ladder and started first to get the children down.
“They were a little shaken. We tried to ease their mind, to take their time walking down the ladder step by step, but they’re pretty brave,” said May. “They got off the roof without any problem at all.”
A third child, age 8, and the grandmother, who uses a wheelchair, live on the downstairs portion of the home, but they were not home when the fire started.
Chief Purifoy says the firefighters were able to contain the blaze within minutes.
A Homestead police officer who also works as a volunteer firefighter was first on the scene and used his fire extinguisher to start spraying the flames until crews arrived.
“The police officers that got inside and started trying to put the fire out themselves, so that already helped us,” said Chief Purifoy.
The Red Cross is assisting the family. The fire marshal was also called to the scene as the cause of the fire remains under investigation.