PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – When firefighters arrived at 3914 Grizella Street in Perry North, the front of the house was engulfed in flames and it was a fast-burning fire.

“I bet you within two minutes, flames jumped out of the window, licked up the side of the house, up the roof,” neighbor Kurt Stull said. “I could not believe how fast it spread.”

Battalion Chief Michael Marks described the intensity of the flames.

“The front steps going up to the second floor were gone and we had no access to the second floor,” he said. “We had to use ladders to get up.”

Just before 5 a.m., firefighters were called to the house saying when they arrived, the smoke was so thick and heavy — it was like walking in complete darkness.

A man walking a dog spotted the flames and called 9-1-1.

By sunrise, damage to the house was more visible.

The damage is estimated to be $150,000.

It was gutted by the flames.

The owner of the house, Gregory Hockenberry, was at work when the fire broke out.

He did not want to comment on the fire.

No injuries were reported, but firefighters did have a few problems, according to Marks.

“Couple of incidents, someone slipped and went through a hole on the first floor and a guy slipped off the aerial truck,” he said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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