Postal worker Jo Amerson was on her normal mail route through the Iffts Trailer Court in Evans City Friday when she noticed smoke coming from the Pearce residence on Pioneer Street.
Fearing the family was inside because she saw their car was parked at the home, Amerson and neighbor Ashley Kennedy began banging on the mobile home’s door. When no one answered, Amerson and Kennedy started smashing the trailer’s windows.
Amerson said she managed to open the back door to the home and saw the family dog, Diesel, unconscious. After dragging him outside, Amerson said she performed CPR on the shepherd-lab mix.
“He’s fine now,” she said.
No one else was inside the home as it burned.
Drew Pearce said his wife, Cindy, and 3-year-daughter, Casey, left for a doctor’s appointment in Cranberry just 10 minutes before the trailer caught fire. His older son, Brandon, 10, was in school at Evans City Elementary.
“I’m just glad no one was home,” he said.
Pearce said his sister picked up his wife and daughter for the appointment, leaving the family's sport-utility vehicle parked outside the home. It also was destroyed in the fire.
The home and its contents are a total loss, according to Evans City Fire Chief Mark Adomaitis.
The chief said firefighters spent about 30 minutes putting out the blaze after arriving at the trailer court at about 10:30 a.m.
He said firefighters are investigating the cause of the fire.
“The fire marshal has been notified of it,” he said.
Pearce, who was at work when he learned of the fire, said his family plans to stay with relatives in the area. He has lived in the mobile home for about 18 years, he said
He was grateful to Amerson, who he had never met before the fire, for saving his dog. Diesel is doing OK, although he’s a little shaken up, Pearce said.
“I’m just glad she found him because he likes to hide,” he said.
As for Amerson, she was modest about her efforts to save the family pet.
“It’s all in a day’s work,” she said. “I just did what anyone else would do.”
The Zelienople, Harmony and Callery fire departments assisted Evans City firefighters at the scene.
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