Authorities find lone survivor after Grove City fire - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Authorities find lone survivor after Grove City fire

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GROVE CITY, Penn. - Rick McDowell holds on tight to Sissy, the faithful chihuahua of his fiance Kirsten Fellows, who was killed with her brother in Monday's fatal fire on McConnel Street in Grove City.

"Like a piece of her was coming back to me because Kirsten was so close to her. To get her back was almost like an angel coming to me to let me know that everything is going to be alright," says McDowell.

Sissy is seen as a little miracle that wasn't found until Thursday evening, nearly four days after the deadly blaze.

Neighbors called humane agents when they could hear whimpering coming from a pile of ruble on the left side of the steps. That's when authorities found little Sissy inside a bag.

"She was wrapped in a blanket and stuffed down in a duffel bag and then Kirsten must have realized that she wasn't going to be able to get out. She knew that she'd be safe. She tossed her out," McDowell says.

Humane officer Tom Swartz picked up Sissy Thursday night and took care of her while verifying her tags. She was reunited with Rick this morning.

"You could just see her light up and give him a kiss on the cheek. That to me was worth everything I do," says Swartz. 

Kirsten's fiance tells 21 News that they had homes in Mercer and Sharon, but Kirsten and her favorite dog had been spending the night at her brother, Brandon Fortuna's house in Grove City to clean it up so he could put it up for sale.

"Who would have ever thought? I don't know if it's hit me yet or not," McDowell says.

Calling hours for 43-year old Kirsten and 28-year old Brandon begin at 3 p.m. Saturday at Bradely McGonigle Funeral home in Sharon, followed by a 5 p.m. service.

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