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Family Escapes Robinson Twp. House Fire

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The Allegheny County fire marshal is investigating the cause of an early Tuesday morning fire in Robinson Township.

According to officials at the scene, the fire started around 2:30 a.m. at a home on Elco Drive.

A couple and their 13-year-old son were home when the fire started. Fortunately, all were able to escape before firefighters arrived.

They think the fire started on the back porch and quickly spread to the attic, where their bedrooms were.

"We had a fully involved house. Fire spread to the attic. First crews on scene went up, ventilated and went from there fighting it," Forest Grove Volunteer Fire Department Chief Andy Lizanich said.

"I got up to look outside and I saw my neighbors outside of their house next door," Mailinn Wong-Perez said.

The family believes a heater on their back porch started the fire. They said they keep their cat and dog in a pen on the porch and were using the heater to keep them warm.

"It was definitely worrisome. I did count heads though. I knew they were all out," Wong-Perez said.

At first, they thought they could contain it themselves by throwing water on flames. However, it spread to the roof and they were forced out.

Their next door neighbor took in the family and their pets, who survived the fire, escaping with only their whiskers singed.

"Whatever I can do. If they need anything, they know they can ask. I think right now they're still in shock and trying to assess damage," Wong-Perez said.

The family said they were planning on having Thanksgiving at the home. It's just one of the many things they're thinking of as they process everything that was lost.

They will stay with other family members until they determine if they can rebuild.

The Red Cross is helping out the family.

The fire marshal is investigating the exact cause of the fire.

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