Pennsylvania State Trooper Rescued a Woman from a House Fire

Chet Bell with the Pennsylvania State Police Greensburg barracks says he would do it all over again. “I took an oath as a Pennsylvania State trooper to serve the citizens of the Commonwealth and it’s something everyday. I’m always working 24/7, it’s just second hand,” Bell said. Bell lives on Thornton Avenue in Hempfield Township, a few doors down from the home where the fire happened around 11:30 Saturday morning.  He was eating lunch before his shift when he heard about the fire on the scanner, then jumped into action. “I had a fire extinguisher with me and I knocked down the fire until the fire department could get there and put some water on it,” Bell said. When he got inside, he found a woman in her 80s in a wheelchair in the kitchen. “When I kicked in the door, the smoke was banked down five to six feet off the ceiling and I could hear fire in house and just yelled to see where she was in the kitchen,” Bell said. Bell managed to pull her out the back door. It’s unclear if a toaster sparked the fire or something the woman sat next to it. “It was a situation that could have been out of control in seconds and fortunately I was in the right place at the right time,” Bell said. Volunteer firefighters with Hempfield Towship were there within minutes after Bell. “Once the fire started, you have minutes to get out of the room. It fills up with smoke rather fast especially a source of oxygen,” Fire Chief with Hempfield VFD No. 2 Tom Kline said. Fortunately, the woman was okay when paramedics checked her over, and so was her cat. “She’s very lucky Chet was there within seconds to get her out,” Kline said. “It’s just nice being able to help someone out when they need help that’s all. Especially in your own neighborhood,” Bell said. The fire chief says the woman is staying with family members until an electrical inspection is done and her kitchen is remodeled.Line