Woman killed trying to save pets from house fire identified

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Woman killed trying to save pets from Bensalem fire ID'd. Walter Perez reports during Action News at 4pm on July 5, 2017.

Authorities have identified the woman who died Wednesday morning trying to save two pets from a house fire in Bensalem.

39-year-old Tabetha Oakes Rutecki was one of three people living in the home in the 2700 block of June Avenue.

The flames broke out at 6:30 a.m. Wednesday.
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Watch video from the Action Cam on the scene of a deadly house fire in Bensalem, Pa.



Reporters were told Rutecki, her husband and her mother-in-law all made it out safely.

Neighbors say they were told Rutecki then went back inside the burning home to try to rescue two pets.

"We heard that she was out of the house, and then she went back in to get the dog and the cat," Paul Chiconski told reporters.

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Deadly fire in Bensalem: Matt O'Donnell reports during Action News at 7:55 a.m. on July 5, 2017.



Rutecki became trapped and was not able to get back out.

Firefighters found her in the kitchen. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

The two other occupants of the home were taken to Jefferson-Aria Health's Torresdale facility for treatment. Their conditions were not immediately known.

Officials also say a firefighter suffered a minor injury at the scene.

Fire investigators are working to determine what sparked the fire.

Officials say this case serves as a cautionary tale - a tragic reminder that you should never enter or re-enter a burning building.

"We do understand it," said Battalion Chief Rob Sponheimer of the Bensalem Township Fire Department. "But you're more important. We want to keep you outside. Let the first responders know, when they get there, where that stuff was, and we'll do the best we can to help you get that stuff out. We just don't want people going back inside. Once you're out, stay out. That's very important."

One dog perished in the fire. Another dog and a cat escaped safely.

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newspennsylvania newsfatal firepetanimalfirefighter injuredu.s. & worldBensalem Township
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