Two Hurt Trying To Rescue Pets

WHEELING – A mother and her 15-year-old daughter were injured while saving their three cats and a dog from their burning Warden Run Road home shortly after 4 p.m. Thursday.

“My daughter would not get out, ” a shaken Brenda Albert said about her daughter Donae. “We had to get the dog and cats out.”

Albert suffered burns to her hands, while her daughter sustained smoke inhalation and possible burns while trying to stop the flames from spreading. They were both transported to Wheeling Hospital for treatment.

Albert said she and her daughter, a student at Wheeling Park High School, were sitting in the kitchen when they smelled smoke. They walked into the living room at the front of the house where they saw a table on fire.

“I had a big candle in a glass bowl on the table. I thought I had blown it out already … the fire was all over the table and was spreading to the papers and photo albums I had under there.”

They managed to escape with their pets and little else. The flames quickly spread throughout the wood frame structure.

The screams of the women brought neighbors to their aid. Several of them helped the women secure their pets while waiting for city firefighters to arrive.

Lindsay Gear, who lives next door, said she smelled smoke and was going toward the door when she heard noises.

“I heard them screaming, so I ran out. They were on the porch and I grabbed them and made them come over to my house. By then, there was so much smoke and fire.”

Albert, surrounded by neighbors, sat shaking on her neighbor’s porch while firefighters raced to lay hose and put water on the flames. She lamented the loss of her late husband’s photographs.

“The only pictures of my husband were on that table and in the albums under the table,” she said.

The family also lost its bowl of fish in the fire.

As firefighters arrived on the scene, heavy black smoke billowed from the structure as flames shot out several windows. Some firefighters reported finding rocks in the hose nozzles after pumping water from nearby fire hydrants. The fire apparatus blocked Warden Run Road for several hours as crews battled the blaze.

Assistant Fire Chief Larry Murphy declared the fire contained at 6:15 p.m. By that time, the roof had collapsed and firefighters were digging out pockets of fire.

Fire investigators were on the scene along with Wheeling police officers and an Ohio County sheriff’s deputy.