PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – An early morning fire left an Arnold house scorched and ruined just before Christmas, but the family that lives there won’t let it squash their cheer.
The fire broke out early Sunday morning, just after midnight in the 1600-block of Third Street.
It started in the kitchen of a first-floor apartment and quickly spread to the second floor and roof.
“I started getting buckets of water trying to put it out, but I couldn’t get it out,” resident Robert Woody said. “I came outside, I seen someone down the street, I said, ‘call 9-1-1. My apartment’s on fire, I can’t get out.’”
When Arnold police officers arrived on scene, Wood was already standing outside, but the fire was starting to spread to the roof of the house next door.
Next door neighbor Gill Thomas praised two police officers for helping him and his family get out safely.
“They were fantastic,” Thomas said. “They made sure everybody was out, they made sure everybody was dressed, they made sure everybody was in a warm place. They were fantastic.”
Flames spread to the Thomas’ roof, causing heavy damage to a section of the attic where Christmas toys for his grandchildren were being stored.
“It went between the wall and the roof and they broke that all down and we had all the Christmas presents in the first room and that’s where all the damage is,” he said.
Thomas says a number of toys were destroyed, including games and electronics. But he said that won’t stop Christmas and he’s just glad no one was hurt.
“I feel really blessed because no one got hurt,” he said. “My grand kids are OK, my wife’s OK, the dogs are OK … I lost everything, but I lived, so that’s the good part.”