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Woman Helps Rescue Family from Burning Home

SCRANTON — A woman in Scranton is being credited with helping save a family from their burning home early Saturday morning. She even gave the clothes off ...

SCRANTON -- A woman in Scranton is being credited with helping save a family from their burning home early Saturday morning. She even gave the clothes off her back to the victims who were stuck on the roof waiting to be rescued.

Firefighters rushed to the scene on South Irving Avenue around 2 a.m. after fire broke out in the downstairs of a home.

By the time Newswatch 16 was there, everyone was out okay, but it wasn't until much later we found out how things ended up that way.

Kate Waverka had just returned home after being inducted into a sorority at Marywood University when she heard cries for help coming from her neighbor's home.

"Screaming, freezing, cold. The kids were crying out for help. The mom was just distraught," Waverka said.

Waverka said smoke was pouring from the home and time was running out to get the mother and children down from the porch roof. The father had already jumped to safety.

"He screamed to me, 'I need you to help me get the kids,'" said Waverka. "He ran and got the ladder and put it up. He came down a couple of steps and dropped them down."

With a cell phone in one hand, calling 911, she helped the father get everyone to safety. Waverka's dress has the burns to prove it.

"Smoke was coming out of the windows. The fire was downstairs, but it had gone everywhere. The smoke was just everywhere," Waverka said.

Once the family was okay, Waverka said she had to do more. She gave the mother her boots and her coat then welcomed them inside her home to get warm.

"Very young and very brave. They came into my house. They asked if they were going to save their house. I said, 'Yes.'"

In the end, the boys and their parents have her to thank for jumping into action, helping them survive the flames that caused so much damage to their home.

"I'm not surprised. I would do it for anyone. Just so happened I was at the right time, at the right place."

No one was seriously hurt. The cause of the fire is under investigation.