Woman: Pa. FFs Stole Life Savings



An elderly Pittsburgh woman says she called for help with her furnace, and when firefighters from Station 13 left her house, a bag with $22,000 was gone.

WTAE Channel 4's Shannon Perrine reported that the woman -- who is in her 80s -- said she called 911 when her furnace went out and she couldn't get it started again. Firefighters arrived right away and went into the basement and got the furnace working again, according to a Pittsburgh police report.

The woman said that she remembers the firefighters said something like, 'It's time to party,' when they came back upstairs, according to the police report. She went to the basement and found that a bag with her life savings that she said she kept in the rafters over her furnace was gone.

"She's a nice lady, don't bother nobody," neighbor Antoine Davis said. "She smiles. She speaks to the kids. She's a nice lady. It's sad that that happened to her."

In the police report, the woman said that the firefighters were in the basement for quite some time. That's something police can check easily. The Fire Bureau records when they arrive at a scene and when they leave.

It turns out that the woman called 911 at 2:05 p.m., the firefighters arrived at 2:08 p.m., and the firefighters left eight minutes later.

Officers from the Zone 4 police station and the city's Office of Municipal Investigations will look into the alleged theft. It's unclear what kind of evidence police will be able to get to prove this happened.

No suspects have been named. Police said they will show the woman photographs of the firefighters at Station 13 to see if she can pinpoint who she says stole the money.

"They're in the news a lot. You hear about them in the news a lot about them misbehaving, not doing what they're supposed to do, but there are still good ones," Davis said. "It's just a shame that the ones -- it's small, but a group is making a bad name for the good ones who actually do good for us out here."

The woman declined to be interviewed on camera by Channel 4 Action News but said that she's angry.


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