1 dies in second fatal Beaver Twp. house fire in less than a week

Photo courtesy of Report It.

BEAVER TWP., Ohio (WYTV) – One person died Wednesday in a house fire in Beaver Township.

The fire broke out about 11:30 a.m. at a home on the corner of East Harvard Boulevard and Laird Avenue. A coroner confirmed 55-year-old Susan A. Puhalla was killed in the fire.

Josh Hill was cutting grass at a nearby mobile home park when he saw the house across the railroad tracks was on fire and he ran over to help.

Hill said a man was coming out of the house and he was on fire.

“I pulled him out of the house — kind of halfway through the garage — and then I ran in,” Hill said. “I started choking and I was gagging.”

Hill said he knew the man’s wife, Puhalla, was still inside. He said he tried to break a window but couldn’t.

“I could hear her — she was calling for her husband,” Hill said.

Flames continued to spread through the house and when firefighters got there, they knew the Puhalla was trapped inside the bathroom area of the house. By the time they were able to reach her, it was too late.

This is the second fatal house fire in less than a week in the township.

Last Friday, flames and smoke at a home on Forest Avenue just a few blocks away claimed the life of 64-year-old Judy Robinson, making the toll on firefighters both physical and emotional.

Chief Larry Sauerwein said he’ll work to make sure his volunteers get help and counseling if they need it.

“Same people that responded to this were at that one, too,” he said. “This is very taxing on them. It is a burden, but we do our best.”

Both of the fatal fires are under investigation. The State Fire Marshal’s Office is helping to look for cause.