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Bed-ridden veteran battling cancer forced to crawl for his life after fire tore through his home

SPRINGDALE, Pennsylvania — Flames tore through a home — chasing a disabled military veteran and his girlfriend into the street — both barely clothed. The fire consumed the home almost immediately.

“It looked like orange smoke coming all the way down the road,” Joe Kuchek, neighbor said.

Neighbors and relatives said 69-year-old Janis Schweitzer and her boyfriend, 65-year-old Mike Elliot ran and crawled for their lives.

Elliot is battling cancer. He is on oxygen and cannot walk.

As the fire raged on, neighbors found the bed-ridden veteran on his knees in the street in the freezing night air — wearing boxer shorts, a T-shirt and no shoes.

“He was crawling. He’s unable to walk,” Joe Kuchek said.

“I was still in shock and my dad told me to get blankets so we could cover him because it was very cold,” Katie Kuchek said.

The house that was the Schweitzer’s home for 49 years was left charred and gutted.

Family members and friends jumped into action to gather financial support to help them pull through this nasty crisis.

“It just tore my heart apart to see this right after Christmas,” Joe Kuchek said.

“I know they have insurance, but they have nothing. You can see there’s nothing left and they don’t have any clothes or anything,” Mary Jane Schweitzer, a relative said.