AVALON (KDKA) — A tragedy in Avalon when flames tore through a home early Tuesday morning, killing two people inside.
Some neighbors say they heard screams coming from the house. So, two neighbors say they charged inside the burning home and were able to eventually rescue a man from the first floor.
“I kicked it about five or six times,” said neighbor Lance McPherson. “I kicked the door. The door finally came open, and a bunch of smoke came out.”
Lance McPherson and Sylvia Cottom say they were able get far enough inside the rescue a man named Jimmy.
“Jimmy, he’s a little bit slow, but he’s a good guy,” said McPherson. “I talk to him a lot. I ran in looking for him.”
Cottom said: “I was just thinking about Jimmy. I wanted to get Jimmy out.”
McPherson says the smoke was so intense, he had to retreat the first time, but then they both went in and stayed low.
“Sylvia came in crawling, so I followed her in with a crawl, screaming ‘Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy!’” said McPherson. “And he came up out of the basement with slippers.”
They got him out, but say there was no way for them to get upstairs where the other victims were.
They also say police who arrived went in and helped save several dogs.
And even though they were able to rescue one of the people inside, Cottom tears up thinking about the neighbors she lost.
“It’s sad. It’s so sad. You don’t think something like that could happen, and boom, it could happen to anybody,” she said.
The Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s Office identifies the victims as Ronald and Barbara Wilson.
The fire started between the first and second floors and appears to be electrical.