HUGHESVILLE - A woman asleep on her couch at 118 Heatherbrook Estates in Muncy Creek Township.was awakened just in time Tuesday to escape safely from her burning home because of an alert neighbor.
Elyse Wright, 28, who lives behind the victim Maurica George's home, is credited with alerting the homeowner about the blaze. She said she discovered the fire when she came outside to feed the birds.
"Mom, Mom, this lady's house is on fire," Wright screamed to her mother, Michelle, with whom she lives.
Wright ran to the burning structure and frantically pounded on the victim's front door as she called 911 about 5:50 p.m.
Wright's mother joined her, and the two made sure George got out of the structure, which was already filling up with smoke.
George lived alone with her three cats, according to neighbors. Firemen said the cats survives the fire.
"I'm glad she's OK. That's all that matters," Wright said, adding that the flames spread very fast from the back porch.
A neighbor, who lives across from the burning home, said she became aware of the fire by Wright's shouts.
"Once she got out of the house, she stayed out," the neighbor, who did not give her name, said of the victim, who was very distraught after her ordeal.
"She told me 'I don't know where my cats are. I can't find them.' I told her 'Don't you go back in there. You can't do anything about them,' " the neighbor added.
Flames were already shooting through the roof when volunteer firefighters began arriving on the scene.
Volunteers from Muncy Area, Hughesville, Picture Rocks, Pennsdale and Clinton Township joined forces to battle the fire, which burned out of control for about an hour.
At one point, firefighters were briefly removed from the structure because there was concern about a possible collapse.
The local chapter of the American Red Cross was providing emergency assistance to the fire victim.
George had fire insurance.
The cause of the fire is still being investigated.