TURTLE CREEK (KDKA) – A man endured a frightening morning when his Turtle Creek house caught on fire.
The man uses a wheelchair and had to yell for help in order to escape and at one point, he even tried to go back in the burning building.
According to officials at the scene, the fire started around 2:45 a.m. at a duplex in the 100-block of the Penn Avenue Extension.
Had his family not heard his cries for help, a man in a wheelchair wonders what would have happened to him after his home in Turtle Creek caught fire early this morning.
Standing beside his family as fire crews continue to work, Tom Seifert was extremely thankful that the fire was not worse and that his wife and kids came to his aide.
“I was scared. I was scared. You don’t think about that happening and when it does, it’s just like, ‘Oh my God, it’s a fire, how am I [going to] get out of here?’” Seifert said.
Seifert is in a wheelchair, which added to his anxiety about getting out of the burning duplex. His wife and two children live in the home next door and heard him yelling for help.
“I could hear him screaming. Spencer was calling police and 911 and I was trying to get him out the door,” Mary-Jo Seifert said.
“It started flaming, I was in the dark and trying to get out, running into chairs and I just was panicking. I finally got to the door and just yelled, ‘Help!’ as loud as I could,” Seifert said.
Tom Seifert said he had plugged in an electric heater this morning, when the outlet started to smoke and fire burst out. Even after his wife got him out of the home, he attempted to wheel himself back in to rescue his cats.
They were found unharmed by the fire department.
“I was just so worried about my cats and losing everything. It looks like the fire department got it out. That’s great. They got here quick,” Tom Seifert said..
“A couple of the walls we had to open up. Fire inside, but it was a nice stop by the crew here,” Turtle Creek Fire Chief Jack Osman said.
The Red Cross will be assisting Seifert and he was taken to UPMC Mercy Hospital to be checked out.