Woman, Toddler, Puppies Rescued From Pa. Fire

Jan. 29--A woman, a toddler and 11 puppies were rescued by police and firefighters early this morning after fire filled their Spring Township home with smoke.

The woman and child, whose identities were not available, were taken to St. Joseph Medical Center by Western Berks Ambulance for treatment of smoke inhalation and were later released, said township Fire Chief Michael Roth.

Roth said the fire broke out shortly before 4 a.m. in a hutch on the first floor of the house at 742 Fritztown Road.

"The flames spread up the wall and across the ceiling, filling the house with smoke," Roth said.

Roth said the house had smoke alarms but it was not known if they awakened the occupants or if the smoke alerted them to the fire. He estimated the child to be 2 to 3 years old.

The woman called 9-1-1 at 3:48 and township police arrived minutes later to find the woman and child leaning out of a second-floor window to escape the thick, acrid smoke created by the blaze.

"The officers coaxed them out of the window onto the porch roof," Roth said.

By that time, firefighters had arrived and grabbed a ladder from a rescue truck and brought the pair to safety. Meanwhile, other firefighters entered the house and quickly extinguished the fire before it could spread, Roth said.

"They got lucky," he said.

Roth estimated damage to the home to be about $10,000. The woman, toddler and puppies are staying with relatives, he said.

Roth said the puppies were rescued by firefighters and appeared unharmed.

Roth said Spring Fire Commissioner Pat Brandenberg was still investigating the cause of the fire this morning. Brandenberg was not immediately available.

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