West Virginia Firefighters, Police Save Family from Blaze

The fire started in a Christmas tree, a fire department lieutenant said.


WEIRTON, W.Va. --

Members of Weirton's two public safety agencies teamed up to help a family escape from the upper floors of their burning home Thursday morning.

A fire started in the living room of a home on the 300 block of Heaslett Avenue.

The fire started in a Christmas tree, a fire department lieutenant said.

Three girls were trapped in the upper floors of the house.

One girl, approximately high school aged, jumped from an upper window to safety.

Two younger girls had to be rescued.

One was plucked from the second story by a firefighter, but the second was rescued by a Weirton city police officer who used what a fire department lieutenant described as a "civilian ladder."

The lieutenant said that police officer deserved special commendation for his actions in helping rescue the trapped girl.

The girls' father was able to escape on his own.

No serious injuries were reported, but some of the home's occupants were treated for smoke inhalation.

Two family pets were also rescued.

Damage to the home was minimal, firefighters said.

Eric Minor, NEWS9