The family had to be rescued from a rear porch roof.
SHARON, Pa. -- A Sherman Avenue family narrowly escaped a smoky fire that did extensive damage to their home this morning.
"I don't know what woke me up," said Jimmy Neer, who lives in the home with his wife, Lisa; son, Jimmy Jr., 4; and daughter, Nadine, 2.
"I woke up. I smelled smoke," said Neer, wearing only a pair of shorts and his face and body blackened by smoke as he watched firefighters clearing the house.
He said the two-story house has smoke detectors but he didn't hear them sounding.
He said he opened the door of their second-floor bedroom to check on the children and felt heat and saw smoke.
He woke his wife who rushed to get the children from their beds and all four then went out a doorway onto a small deck atop the rear porch roof, Neer said.
They had no way to get to the ground and screamed for help for what seemed like 15 minutes before rescuers arrived to get them down with a ladder, he said.
All four were treated by ambulance crews at the scene for smoke inhalation.
Close call: It was a close call for the family, said Fire Chief Arthur Scarmack.
"A few more minutes and ...," he said, his voice trailing off.
The alarm came in around 7 a.m. and Scarmack said a state police fire marshal has been called in to help pinpoint the cause of the blaze.
It appears to have started in the first-floor living room, Scarmack said.
There was a fan left on top of a table in that room but he said he didn't know if that's what started the fire.
The first floor was gutted but the second floor had only heat and smoke damage, he said.
The house is owned by Neer's mother, Sara Buzzard of Ridge Way.