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Family issues warning after losing everything when lawnmower sparks fire

MCCANDLESS, Pa. — About two weeks ago, Channel 11 reported to you a fire had sparked at a home on Perry Highway in McCandless. The family has told Channel 11 they’ve lost everything since a riding mower caught fire that day.

“Two riders and one lawnmower, they all caught on fire, so it ignited the house,” Kathleen Desalvo said.

Weeks later, the smell from the fire is still in the air, and the house needs to be rebuilt.

“It was pretty devastating for us. The whole house is gone,” she said.

The Desalvo’s son was mowing the grass that hot June afternoon. He said he put the mower away and went inside to grab a drink. That’s when he realized the fire was already moving quickly.

“And he said, ‘Dad, the house is on fire.’ And I said, ‘You got to be kidding me,’” Joseph Desalvo said.

The flames spread to the roof and then the rest of the home, destroying everything.

The Desalvos have seven adopted children, and they are now looking for a home big enough to rent to accommodate everyone.

As for storing your mower, the family and fire officials both urge you to make sure you let the machine cool before putting it away.