Police, Neighbors Help Woman, 80, Escape Ross Twp. House Fire

ROSS TOWNSHIP (KDKA) – Police and neighbors helped an 80-year-old woman escape from a house fire in Ross Township Friday morning.

According to officials at the scene, the fire started inside a home in the 100 block of Brunner Drive around 5:30 a.m.

“Upon my arrival, we had heavy fire showing off the game room in the split-entry basement. The fire department made a quick attack on it to knock the flames down and went in to complete the overhaul,” Ross Township Fire Marshal John Reubi said.

Ben Mattes, a neighbor who was sleeping with the windows open, heard screams outside.

He immediately called 911 and ran to help his 80-year-old neighbor.

ross township fire 2 Police, Neighbors Help Woman, 80, Escape Ross Twp. House Fire

(Photo Courtesy: Ben Mattes)

By the time he got there, a police officer had already jumped in to get the woman out of the house.

“She was just saying, ‘Help,’ and it wasn’t quite a fire yet. It was just smoke and then luckily we got her out and she came over to my house and then firefighters did what they had to do,” Mattes said.

The woman has some mobility issues and uses a walker, but she wasn’t hurt in the fire.

“She was a little shaken, she wasn’t too upset, she’s just lucky to be ok,” Mattes said.

As for a cause, fire officials suspect the fire was sparked by an electrical problem with either a television or a lamp.

“Initial reports are this appears to be possibly an electrical fire in the game room area, she was down there watching TV,” Reubi said.

Most of the fire damage was contained to the basement, but there is smoke and water damage throughout the house.

The woman forced out is now being helped by neighbors and the Red Cross.

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