Neighbor saves PSL family from house fire

Posted at 8:00 PM, Apr 06, 2016

A Port St. Lucie woman is being credited with saving her neighbors by getting them out of their burning home early this morning.

Susan Olivieri says she awoke to a frightening sight. She thought her home was burning.

“When I sat up in bed it looked like my house was on fire,” said Susan.

Surveillance video from her home shows her neighbor's home burning.

“It's scary to wake the first thing that's what you see,” said Susan.

But it was the initial noise from her dog, Bella, that got her to act.

“My dog Bella barked this morning,” she explained.

Susan ran out and saw flames tearing through her neighbor’s patio. A father and his three kids were sleeping inside. Susan tells us she pounded on the door until someone woke.

“All I can tell you, it was awful,” said Susan.

Firefighters believe smoking caused the fire. Several pets including snakes and turtles died in it but a few were saved. Firefighters rescued a duck and found the homeowner’s Chihuhua, Lex, hiding under a bed. They have him oxygen to revive him.

“When they brought him out I just lost it,” said Al Fernandez. “He was just like dead. That's when I lost it but once I heard he came back I was so happy.”

Al saved his wife's ashes before escaping the fire. 

The American Red Cross is helping the family as it figures out what's next.

Susan is grateful her neighbors are OK.

Firefighters say the damage is estimated to be about $45,000.