Latrobe, Pa. (KDKA) — Fire devastated the home of a Westmoreland County family yesterday afternoon.
The family lost everything including their four dogs which they say helped their special needs daughter.
The Fire Chief in Latrobe says an overloaded circuit started the fire.
A circuit overload in the kitchen where a refrigerator and microwave were plugged into the same outlet, caused the devastating fire.
“You overload the circuits like that, it’s a recipe for disaster,” said Latrobe Fire Chief John Brazile.
Heavy smoke poured from the home’s kitchen and houses were covered with smoke in 100 block of Harrison Avenue in Latrobe.
The roof collapsed, and the family’s four dogs were also lost.
“My guys had a hard time getting in the heat was so intense. The smoke was bad,” Chief Brasile said.
“The two bigger dogs were right at the front door and I would say the one smaller dog tried to shield the other smaller one,” Brasile told KDKA News.
The Hoffman family called this house, home. Dad lived here with his special needs daughter and their beloved dogs.
“She did everything with them dogs, she played with them, took them for walks, slept with them,” said father and homeowner John Hoffman.
“They made her feel loved and calm and comfortable,” Hoffman said.
John says the loss is overwhelming. His daughter lost her mom two years ago and now the dogs which were her best friends.
The family is leaning on a sister and Grandma for support.
“I know she’s upset about it because of her dogs and loosing everything,” said Grandmother Sis Hoffman.
John Hoffman says he just put 25-thousand dollars in repairs into his home. He works multiple jobs and plans to sleep in his car and just keep going for his little girl.
“She doesn’t have a lot of friends other than school,” Hoffman said.
Hoffman tells KDKA News the tragedies are all too much to take, “This is like too close together to happen.”
Despite having lost his belongings his home and his pets, John says the only thing he needs going into the Easter holiday are prayers.