ELIZABETH TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — Crews battled a large brush fire that started destroyed a home in Elizabeth Township this afternoon.
The fire broke out after 3 p.m. at Wolfe Drive and Simpson Howell Road. Fire units in the area reported heavy, black smoke.
Everyone was able to get out of the home safely, including the homeowner’s dog.
The homeowner, 74-year-old Earl Beatty, was charging a battery for his boat to go fishing. The next thing he knew, the shed was on fire.
Investigators don’t know if the battery was the cause, but they do say the fire started in that shed or detached garage. As dry as it is, they say it started a brush fire which spread to the home.
Beatty ran inside to rescue his wife who has heart problems. Then, he ran back inside his burning home to get a dog that had gone into an upstairs bedroom and wouldn’t come out.
Beatty is also an auctioneer who says the house was filled with irreplaceable items.
He just says though, that he’s happy he and his wife are safe.
“I’m fantastic, couldn’t be better,” he said. “Nobody’s hurt.”
Beatty said this is the second time he’s gone through this. He had a similar house fire 25 years ago, when the oil furnace went bad. They rebuilt, and that was the house that was destroyed in Tuesday’s fire.
Crews requested brush trucks and ATVs be brought in and couldn’t easily access a fire hydrant.
The gas company was also notified, as well as Allegheny Power for the possibility of high tension lines in the area being affected.
One firefighter was treated for a leg injury.