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Several Pa. Officers Save Two People From Fire


Several police officers on patrol alerted firefighters to a blaze they spotted at a home in Wilmerding.

The fire was reported early Tuesday morning along Patton Street.

Four officers, including one from Turtle Creek and three from North Versailles, went in as a team to make sure the people inside got out alive.

"Our job is to protect and serve. Well, when you go in a burning building and remove the occupants safely I would say that is protecting and serving," said North Versailles police Chief Vincent DiCenzo.

Dicenzo said one of the officers, Kurt Kotchig, initially spotted the fire and has been in this position before.

"Several years ago from the Amen Corner he had received an award for a fire that we had at a senior citizen's apartment complex. Officer Kotchig and several other officers had gone in and removed occupants from that building," DiCenzo said.

Retired firefighter Les Betras lives next to where the fire broke out and said everyone's quick work saved surrounding houses and undoubtedly, lives.

"I've been at a lot of these here disasters and I can say it was spectacular," Betras said. "They just put it down so fast."

No injuries were reported, but some pet snakes were killed in the blaze.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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