Emergency crews had to rescue a woman from her burning Westmoreland County home Wednesday morning.
According to police, the fire started at a home on Woodmont Avenue in Arnold just before 9 a.m.
“We were in the process of getting insurance, but we didn’t get it yet,” homeowner Jean Smith said. “We just bought the house.”
Smith said she raced home from her job to see firefighters battling flames at the home she just purchased.
“We’re not sure what started it,” Smith said. “I don’t know if somebody started it or a wire snapped or what.”
Authorities said Smith went back inside the house with her cats and didn't want to leave them. Eventually, she cooperated as firefighters carried her out safely. Two cats died in the blaze.
"She didn't want to leave her animals, and basically, that's a huge problem," Arnold Fire Chief Willie Weber said. "A human life is more important than an animal's. Not that I'm not an animal-lover, but you have to look at the consequences."