PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Four firefighters continue to recover today after suffering injuries while battling an intense house fire overnight in Pittsburgh’s Greenfield neighborhood.
The blaze started around 1:30 a.m. in the 1100-block of Greenfield Avenue.
Authorities say the people living in the home were able to escape the fire, but when crews got to the scene they encountered heavy smoke and flames.
“Conditions you could just feel were really getting bad and that’s when we decided to back out, and right shortly after that, the explosion,” said Lt. Duke Mulvihill, of the Pittsburgh Fire Department. “The whole third floor just blew up in a flash.”
Mulvihill and his men were in the midst of something called a flashover followed by a backdraft.
“The smoke is all gases and that’s what ignites. The heat was so tremendous, and then a little air gets introduced and then it’s just like an explosion,” said Lt. Mulvihill. “We actually like dove down the steps one on top of another.”
The injured firefighters suffered burns to the face, neck and hands. They were taken to UPMC Mercy Hospital for treatment and later released.
Investigators were expected to return to the scene of the blaze today to investigate the cause.
The neighboring home on the left had some superficial damage to the outside. Another of the neighboring homes belongs to the parents of Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy.
The cost of the fire is estimated at $100,000. The Red Cross is helping the family that escaped.
Stay with KDKA for the latest on this developing story.