ST. CLAIR — A family is devastated after they lost their home and several pets in a fire in Schuylkill County Wednesday.
It started around 10 a.m. at the home on North Front Street.
Facebook pictures show heavy smoke coming from the front of the place.
Family and neighbors watched as crews searched for other animals that were inside the house when the fire broke out.
Michelle Wythe couldn’t hold back the tears. She watched as fire crews worked to put out flames inside her family’s home on Front Street in St. Clair. Three of her family’s pets were found dead.
“I can’t even describe how I feel. It feels like everything is gone. I don’t know what to do,” said Wythe.
The fire department says the blaze started on the back porch of the home. Michelle’s brother and the family’s five cats, three dogs, and a turtle were all in the home when the fire began. All but three of the pets survived, but home owner, Thomas Wythe says his first concern was his wife and children, who all got out safely.
“Secondly, our pets. They are our family,” he said.
Vet technician student Desiree Smith got a big hug from the family. She saved the life of one of the dogs.
“We were not able to get an oxygen mask on him right away so I helped him breath,” said Smith. “Just the embrace she gave me was wonderful. It’s so nice to help.”
Three beagles and two cats were taken to Schuylkill County Veterinary Hospital for breathing in smoke and for burns.
The fire department was on Front Street for hours making sure the house is secure. Neighbors also set up camp, bringing supplies for the family and their animals.
“We brought a cage, a case of water, some towels just to help out,” said Sue Wagner.
“Neighbors that I really never talk to came up and offered me whatever I needed, which is amazing. It’s not expected, but I knew that is the way they would be,” said Thomas Wythe.
The house is not livable and five of the family’s surviving pets are in critical condition.