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February 21, 2013

Firefighters rescue pets in Pulaski Township blaze

NEW CASTLE — Three St. Bernards, two Maltese and five cats were rescued from a house fire in Pulaski Township Wednesday.

The family’s rabbit was not so lucky.

Pulaski Fire Chief Guy Morse said volunteer departments from seven communities battled a blaze that hit the home of Jason and Heather Kauffman at 3613 Evergreen Road.

Firefighters said no one was at home at the time of the blaze, which was reported about 12:50 p.m. The Kauffman family — which includes four children — will be staying with relatives, Morse said.

The home is a two-story house with a full attic that had been converted to a bedroom, the chief said, adding the rabbit’s location on the uppermost level led to its demise.

“The roof came in,” he noted, “but the first and second floors are still intact.” However, he did not have a damage estimate at press time Wednesday.

Ice was a factor for approximately two dozen firefighters who responded, Morse said, “but nobody slipped and fell.” No fatalities, no injuries, he continued, “that’s my biggest concern.”

Joining Pulaski firefighters were volunteers from Mahoning and Neshannock townships and New Wilmington in Lawrence County, Shenango Township, Mercer County and Coitsville, Ohio. Station 93 from Poland, Ohio, provided relief manpower. Crews were at the scene until just after 4:30 p.m.

With temperatures below freezing, Noga Ambulance personnel were on hand to provide aid for the firefighters, getting them out of the cold and into a warm environment to thaw out.

Morse noted the Pulaski police assisted with traffic control; Evergreen Road was closed from shortly before 1 p.m. until 5:10 p.m.

“We didn’t have to ferry water,” the chief said, explaining fire crews accessed water from a hydrant at the township park — “thousands and thousands of gallons.”

He said the state police fire marshal has been called to investigate the cause of the blaze, which appears to have started at the back of the structure.

(New Castle News staffer Carol Colaizzi contributed to this report.)

(Email: nlowry@ncnewsonline.com)

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