A Masury man was flown to a Pittsburgh hospital after he was found on the garage floor of his burning home Thursday afternoon.
Robert J. Vitello of 1055 Sharon Hogue Road probably was taken to the hospital as a precautionary measure, said Brookfield Interim Fire Chief Dave Coffy. He did not appear to have burns or other external injuries and most likely was overcome with smoke, Coffy said.
Rick Fraley said he was driving in the area when he saw smoke and other vehicles pulled over. He and others ran to the house to try to see if anyone was inside.
“It (flames) was shooting out the windows downstairs and working its way upstairs,” Fraley said.
Fraley found Vitello in the garage, on the opposite side of the house from the fire.
“He was laying on the ground,” Fraley said. “His dog was laying beside him.”
Fraley said he kicked in a man door and he and John Haun pulled Vitello outside, putting Vitello in Fraley’s truck, and then driving him to shade to wait for help.
Vitello was home alone and his dog was not injured, Coffy said.
Firefighters were called at 3:14 and flames were shooting out the windows of the first and second floors when they arrived.
The fire started in the living room on the south side of the house, Coffy said. A fire marshal investigated and brought a dog, but no indication of accelerants or anything suspicious was found, he said.
The cause was listed as undetermined and likely accidental, Coffy said.
Coffy said he put out a second alarm before even reaching the scene, because he could see smoke from Mr. D’s Food Fair.
The department called in the East Side Tanker Shuttle because there are no hydrants nearby, but ended up not needing the extra water.
“For as much fire as there was, it went out pretty quick,” Coffy said.
Coffy fell through a floor, ending up straddling a beam, and suffered minor burns. While newer homes have fire-supression construction measures such as fire stops, the materials used in them tend to burn quickly, Coffy said.
“They just fall apart,” he said.
The Vitello home was built in 1995, and it is insured.
Coffy estimated the fire loss at $250,000.