Steelers assistant coach severely burned in house fire

Kirby Wilson, the running backs coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers, suffered significant burns in a house fire early Friday morning. Here's more from the AP:

Authorities say the fire broke out around 3 a.m. in Wilson's home in Seven Fields, a northern Pittsburgh suburb. Firefighters told borough manager Tom Smith the blaze started in the kitchen and Wilson suffered "moderate to severe" burns.

Wilson, 50, was taken to a Pittsburgh hospital for treatment. His condition was not immediately known but the injuries were not thought to be life-threatening. He will not travel with the team for Sunday's wild-card game in Denver.

Obviously, the main concern at the moment is for Wilson and his health. We all wish him nothing but the best.

As for how this affects the Steelers, though, the timing really couldn't be worse.

Starter and workhorse Rashard Mendenhall is out for the season, and Redman's only career start came last week against the Browns. He did pretty well ‒ 19 carries for 92 yards ‒ but will face a much tougher task against the Broncos' run defense. Wilson's situation will weigh heavily on the minds of the players and coaches, too, I'm sure.

The injuries sustained could've been worse, were it not for the help of a couple of neighbors. A neighbor, Dave VanAtta, said the smell of smoke woke him up, he called 911 and then went and pounded on Wilson's door. Another neighbor, Jim McCaffer, joined him. Here's more from Cranberry Patch:

The men said they talked with Wilson at the door, and Wilson repeatedly thanked them for rousing him. Van Atta said Wilson was burned on his arms, legs and the back of his head and was wheezing from apparent smoke inhalation.

"He said 'Thank you' about a million times," and he also told the neighbors he was "fine," VanAtta said.  The men said they tried to keep him conscious, speaking and on his feet, but they said they were afraid to touch him because of the extent of his burns.

It's a terrible situation. Wilson's been with the Steelers as running backs coach for five years, so he certainly has some close friends in the organization. Thoughts are with him, his family and his Steelers family.

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