WEST MIFFLIN, Pa. — A fire at a West Mifflin home killed an elderly husband and wife.
The Allegheny County Medical Examiner says 78-year-old Carl “Jerry” Bajus and 78-year-old Victoria “Vicki” Bajus died in the fire.
The call came in around 4 a.m. for a house on Lebanon School Road. Neighbors say Jerry went outside, called 911, then went back in the house to try to get his wife.
“It was devastating, especially when I saw how big the flames were,” Annette Brennfleck said. “And their cars were outside and there was no sign of them,” Brennfleck added.
She moved into the neighborhood 30 years ago - 10 years after the Bajus family and shared her favorite memory of the couple.
“Jerry came over - he was the first neighbor to come over to welcome me to the neighborhood and said if you ever need anything, come on over,” Brennfleck added.
Debbie Stanton says there is a hole in the neighborhood and this loss will be felt hard. Jerry and Vicki have five children, countless grandchildren, were in a bowling league together and loved being out in nature.
“It’s just a really, really tragic thing that happened and it’s a sad loss,” Stanton said.
At one point the flames were so intense and the roof was at risk of collapsing so firefighters had to get out for their safety. At daybreak, crews demolished the home piece by piece. Neighbors say they’re finding comfort in sharing stories about the Bajus family and leaning into their faith.
“The thing that I would like to do the most is walk up as close as I can get and just pray,” Brennfleck said. “Pray that they’re in heaven and to comfort their children and grandchildren.”
The Allegheny County Fire Marshal is investigating the cause of the fire.
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