Columbia fire victim helped to save sleeping teenager

COLUMBIA, Pa. (WHTM) – Investigators say an electrical problem caused a fire that burned through a half-block of row homes and displaced 20 people Wednesday night.

The fire in the 300 block of Walnut Street has been ruled accidental.

Todd Miller is one of those people who is now out of a home. He was in front of his home when the fire started in a neighbor’s house.

“I looked up and it was smoking really bad,” Miller recalled, “so I ran into their house and got their boy out of there.”

Miller was able to wake a 13-year-old boy who was sleeping on the second floor.

“He came running downstairs,” Miller said. “I told him I put his dogs out back and to get out of the house.”

Miller then woke his own daughter, Abby, to make sure she got out, too.

“I’m glad my dad was home,” Abby Miller said. “If he wasn’t home, who knows what would have happened.”

When firefighters arrived, the Millers saw a familiar face. Michael Armold, Abby’s fiancé and a Columbia firefighter, arrived on the scene.

Armold also lives at the house part-time.

“When we got here, I noticed it was her side of the street,” Armold said. “Adrenaline kicked in and we all went to work.”

Armold saved the engagement ring, which was still inside.

On Thursday, the Miller’s home was condemned. Todd Miller said he’s staying positive while trying to figure out what’s next for his family.

“You can replace the house and stuff,” he told ABC 27 News. “The big thing is no one was hurt.”

A dog was killed in the fire.

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