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Right Place, Right Time: Volunteer Firefighter Driving By Helps Family In Carrick As Home Catches Fire

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - A Carrick family lost everything when their house caught fire in the middle of the night.

The family says a volunteer firefighter was in the right place at the right time.

The fire was intense, windows were blown out, and nothing can be salvaged.

The mother quickly ran out of the house with her daughters, who are 1 and 4, frantically looking for help.

Luckily, a volunteer firefighter just so happened to be driving by the home in the 300 block of Carrick Avenue.

Pittsburgh EMS, fire, and police arrived around midnight and arrived to heavy smoke coming from the home.

Sarah Skees' husband and two sons were on their way home from the Steelers game at Heinz field while she and her two daughters were at home.

She saw smoke and went to the bedroom where it was coming from and said a portable air conditioning unit was on fire.

Without a charged phone, Sarah could not call 911, so he ran home-to-home screaming for help.

"I'm knocking on the neighbor's door and trying to flag down people and a volunteer firefighter just so happened to come down the street and he heard me screaming and my daughters screaming, and he called and that's when the fire department showed up," she recalled.

"We just moved into the house, we're trying to make a way for our family, we just saw everything go downhill," said Edward Johnson.

They were renting the place and did not have renter's insurance. The couple has 7 children and 4 of them live with them.

The Red Cross provided comfort kits and financial assistance to the family.

Now, they have to start from scratch, and in the meantime, they're staying with family.

However, they're staying positive, remaining thankful no one was hurt and they still have each other.

The fire investigation unit is determining the cause of the fire.

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