The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

January 26, 2014

Smoke alarms credited with saving family

By Joe Wiercinski
Herald Staff Writer

HERMITAGE — Five members of the Michael and Diane Hornyak family escaped without harm from the fire that set off alarms at about 7:15 a.m. Saturday in their home at 2650 Teaberry Lane.

“The smoke detectors saved their lives, without a question,” Hermitage Fire Chief Bob Goeltz said.

Family members took shelter at a neighbor’s house and are staying with a relative for now. American Red Cross also assisted with emergency aid for the family that is fully insured against the loss, he said.

“They will have to find a temporary home and rebuild if that’s what they choose to do,” he said. “But  they have insurance to take care of their need for clothing and things like that.”

The fire apparently started in the basement, but its cause wasn’t immediately determined, Goeltz said.

Water supply came from tankers to fight the fire in the subdivision of about 10 houses in the rural area off Frampton and Hogback roads at the southern edge of the city.

There were rounds of ammunition and medical oxygen tanks in the house, but they presented no problems for firefighters.

“It’s typical to find that kind of thing, especially in a rural setting,” Goeltz said. “There was nothing about them that gave us any trouble.”

In addition to firefighters and equipment from all three of its stations, Hermitage was assisted by Clark, West Middlesex and Wheatland fire departments.

Sharpsville and Farrell firefighters were placed on standby for Hermitage during the emergency.