EAST LIBERTY (KDKA) – Investigators are trying to figure out what caused a huge fire Tuesday morning at a home in East Liberty.
The fire on North St. Clair Street began about 6:30 a.m. and would claim two homes before it was put out.
However, no lives were lost thanks to some neighbors saving fellow neighbors.
For Pittsburgh firefighters, it was a high and low attack. There were many worries about structural stability, firefighters and victims’ accountability with so much smoke.
“The smoke was an issue for us because it reduced visibility not just inside the initial building. Smoke banking down around the original fire building made the outside seem as hazardous as the inside,” Asst. Chief Tom Cook said.
However, four adults and two children needed the help of everyday heroes to escape the fire.
“I want to stress that the residents in the neighborhood were instrumental in alerting the occupants of the exposure building that there was a fire extending into the building next door,” Cook said.
“I was on my way to the store I heard cracking and a whole bunch of screaming,” Shaun Johnson said.
Shaun Johnson was one of the ones who stepped up to save lives.
“The man wasn’t trying to move, but I beat on his windows as hard as I can trying to get his attention to tell him the next door house was on fire,” Shaun Johnson said. “He didn’t want to move. I just pleaded, “Please get out of there, please.”
The man he was trying to save was 56-year-old physically challenged George Johnson.
“I had no idea what was happening. I had just went to sleep,” George Johnson said.
Shaun’s action saved George and his dog “Bear.”
“I just don’t want to see [anybody] get hurt. I’m not a hero. I’m just an average citizen, that’s how I feel. I was just doing what I thought an average citizen would do,” Shaun Johnson said.
Officials said the home was completely destroyed and will be demolished later today.
The cause of the investigation remains under investigation.
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