Westmoreland County

Man killed, woman rescued in Sewickley Township house fire

SEWICKLEY TOWNSHIP, Pa. — A man is dead and his wife is fighting for her life after a devastating fire at their Westmoreland County home on Thursday.

PHOTOS: Fire burns through house in Sewickley Township

Intense flames could be seen shooting out of all sides of their home on Yukon Road in Sewickley Township around 4 p.m.

Takoma Gantt and Bradley Cook were nearby and ran toward the fire to help the couple inside.

“It’s a natural instinct,” Gantt said. “If you see there’s a problem, help.”

The pair said they were able to pull the woman from the burning home as first responders arrived.

“She was pretty much unresponsive, but she was kind of there, and she told us that her husband was in there and we tried going back in and getting him, too,” Cook said.

The young men were unable to safely get through all the flames and back into the house.

“I’m not going to lie, it feels horrible because you couldn’t help the other one,” Gantt said. “That’s something that you’ll never forget, like when you hear screams, that’s something you’ll never forget in your life.”

According to the Westmoreland County coroner, the man who died is 65-year-old David Shotts, Sr.

His wife, Ruth, the coroner said, was airlifted to UPMC Mercy hospital with burns and smoke inhalation.

Neighbors said they heard an explosion

“One of the occupants was actually on oxygen, so we’re thinking that it probably had something to do with the oxygen, so that’s probably what they were hearing” said Chief Bill Dull, with Hutchinson Fire Department.

According to Dull, the home is a total loss.

The cause of this fire is being investigated by the State Police Fire Marshal.

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