PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Pittsburgh Steelers running backs coach Kirby Wilson suffered severe burns in a fire at his home early this morning.
The fire began in Wilson’s townhouse in the Estates at Seven Fields between 2:30 a.m. and 3:00 a.m.
“You couldn’t see the flames from the front of the townhome,” neighbor Meg Kessler told KDKA-TV. “What you did see was the smoke billowing out. Apparently the fire was in the back.”
Wilson, 50, had been sleeping in a top floor bedroom and had to be carried out on a stretcher by firefighters. Wilson is being treated in the burn unit at UPMC Mercy Hospital. He suffered burns on 30 to 50 percent of his body.
“You could definitely see that his arms and parts of his legs were burned,” Aaron Sheasley said. “He didn’t seem to be aware of it though. It was like he was on adrenaline.”
Wilson has been with the team since 2007 and has been a major mentor to Rashard Mendenhall
The Steelers released a statement this morning about Wilson. It reads in full: “First and foremost, our thoughts and prayers are with Kirby and his entire family. We are saddened to hear about this unfortunate situation but we know that he has the best medical care in the country treating him. The entire organization is praying for Kirby to have a full recovery and we will be by his side through this difficult time.”
“I prayed to God that he was alright,” Isaac Redman said. “I don’t really know what fully happened, but I just was – I was really shocked by that and didn’t really understand what was going on and a couple coaches came up and talked to me about it. [It’s] just really unfortunate what happened.”
Mike Tomlin informed the players that no one except immediate family would be able to visit him for the next few days.
His burns are considered to be serious, but not life-threatening.
While the state police fire marshal is investigating the cause of the fire, a maintenance man at the complex said he believes the fire may have started with a stove burner in the kitchen.