CONNELLSVILLE (KDKA) – State Police are investigating the cause of a fire in Connellsville.
Around 12:30 this morning, firefighters were called to a large fire on Pittsburgh Street. It quickly spread to the duplex next door.
The family of three, who lived in the home where the fire started, all went to hospitals.
KDKA learned that the man was flown to UPMC Mercy’s Burn Center, possibly with smoke inhalation burns. A woman and an 11-year-old girl were taken to local hospitals with smoke inhalation.
One of the family’s two dogs also died in the fire. The second dog was able to escape.
As the fire was growing, the next door neighbors woke up and were able to get out of their duplex before the fire spread to their home.
KDKA spoke with Mike Napolillo who says that he, his girlfriend and his two young sons were able to make it out safely.
“I got out front and it wasn’t five minutes later that it actually caught fire,” Napolillo said early Tuesday morning.
Napolillo is actually a firefighter himself. He described feeling helpless as he watched the fire spread.
“I’m usually the one saving people from this stuff,” said Napolillo. “To stand there and watch it go up was just, I couldn’t do anything. Pretty much the most hopeless feeling I’ve ever felt in my life.”
With fire burning inside two homes, fire officials called four alarms to help with manpower.
The home where the fire started was destroyed. The second home involved had heavy fire, smoke and heat damage.
The state fire marshal is investigating the cause.