Alert citizen helps teenager, dog escape fire in Town of Summit

TOWN OF SUMMIT (WITI) -- Several departments were called to a house fire in the Town of Summit on Sunday, March 23rd. A teenager and a dog were able to make it out of the home safely -- thanks to an observant passer-by.

Officials say there was a fire burning in the fireplace. They believe an ember may have gone out the chimney and started the roof on fire.

The fire may have spread faster if it weren't for a vehicle traveling nearby.

"I thought I saw some smoke, so I immediately called 911. I jumped out of my car," Lissy Malmstrom-Scharf said.

Malmstrom-Scharf didn't just call the fire in. She also called out to anyone who may have been inside the home.

"Pretty much rang the doorbell about a thousand times within a 10 second span," Malmstrom-Scharf said.

Malmstrom-Scharf says she's thankful the teenage boy and dog got out okay, and that first responders were able to arrive on scene within about two minutes.

"He kept saying 'mom and dad are at the store.' 'Mom and dad are gone,'" Malmstrom-Scharf said.

Some might call Malmstrom-Scharf, a healthcare worker, a hero -- but she says she simply called on her natural instincts.

"I work with individuals that are in need just like this family was in need," Malmstrom-Scharf said.

Malmstrom-Scharf works at nearby Rogers Memorial Hospital and was headed back from her lunch break when she spotted the fire. Had she not called 911 or visited the home, this situation could have been much worse.

The fire remains under investigation.

MONITOR FOX6 News and for updates on this developing story.