ARNOLD (KDKA) — Police pulled a woman from her burning home this morning in Westmoreland County after she refused to leave without her pets.
The front porch of the home was completely engulfed in flames when Chief Willie Weber, of the Arnold Police Department, got there.
Hearing that a woman was still inside, Chief Weber and Officer Ryan Olszewski went in after her.
“We [kind of] physically pulled her out of the structure and got her around front and up into an ambulance,” said Chief Weber.
Multiple people tried to alert the homeowner to the fire, including refuse workers and neighbors, but the woman did not want to leave without her three cats.
“She was pretty upset about her animals and intent in wanting to go back in,” Chief Weber said.
One neighbor called 911 when she first saw the fire and says that her husband also tried to alert the woman to the growing fire before emergency responders got there.
“He knocked on the door and told them the house was on fire and she said okay, and then he got out of there,” said neighbor Janice Gasbarro.
“She didn’t want to leave her animals. And basically, that’s a huge problem. Human life is a little bit more important than an animal’s.”
The woman’s husband was at work when the fire started. She was not injured, but was being evaluated by paramedics at the scene.
Unfortunately, Chief Weber had devastating news about the woman’s pets.
“We lost two cats out of the three; we retrieved one,” he said. “We had two out, and they went back in. That’s kind of what set her off to go back in.”
Fire officials say the house is a total loss. State Police Fire Marshals will continue the investigation into the cause.