Family's home destroyed in fire; Mom, 13-month-old narrowly escape injury

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SOUTH FAYETTE, Pa. - A woman and her 13-month-old son narrowly escape disaster on Wednesday when they returned to their South Fayette home just as it was catching fire.

Traci Stone told Channel 11’s Alan Jennings that she and her son, Ryder, were bombarded with a cloud of smoke as they opened the front door.

“Me and my son left to go pick up papers from the doctor’s office. We came back 15-20 minutes later, opened the front door and black smoke just came pouring out,” Stone said.

Stone said she and Ryder ran to safety and called for help.

Investigators said the blaze erupted most likely because of an apparent faulty appliance. Stone said she realizes things could have been a lot worse if she and her son were home at the time.

“I think it could have been really bad because the dishwasher caught fire and it exploded because dishes are laying in (Ryder’s) room and in the bathroom,” Stone said.

Ryder’s father, Rockey King, understands the flying debris could have seriously injured his son.

“First thing I saw was his high chair sitting right there. That’s when everything really hit me in the heart,” King said.

Stone said she was only able to salvage a few of her son’s favorite toys – everything else was lost.

“He loves Finding Nemo, so this is what’s left of his Nemo character. Everything else melted,” Stone said.

Officials said the interior of the house was totaled due to the fire and smoke damage. The family said they’re staying at a rental home for the time being.