PITTSBURGH — A Pittsburgh police officer spoke with Channel 11 about the day she ran toward a burning home and tried saving as many lives as she could.
“I wish there was more I could have done, or if I would have gotten there sooner; but in this job, you can’t really go off of the “what ifs,” Zone 6 police officer Whitney Ptak told Channel 11.
You may remember the story from last week. A fire started in a Beechview home, then spread to the two neighboring houses.
A man survived the fire, but a 79-year-old woman died.
“It’s extremely sad to hear. It’s a traumatic event, but once again, signing up for this job, you know you’re going to see it,” Ptak said.
That day, Ptak was on patrol and heard about a couch on fire at the home. When she got there, she realized the flames had spread rapidly.
“Whenever I say this house was completely engulfed in flames, the flames were coming out of the doorway. The whole back porch was on fire. The fire was pouring into these other houses,” she added.
She knocked on doors, trying to get people to safety.
She was only wearing her uniform, and didn’t have on any other protective gear.
“This is my job, I know I have to do it. There wasn’t a second thought to it. It was making sure everyone was safe. Get as many people out as you can, and save as many lives as you can,” she said.
She went to the hospital after inhaling smoke that day, and still hasn’t returned to work. She’s home, recovering and reflecting.
“I kind of just persevered and did what I could. I obviously gave it my all, and that’s what I have to go by every day,” she said.
Investigators are still working to figure out the cause of the fire.
©2022 Cox Media Group