By Heather Abraham

NORTH SIDE (KDKA) – Pittsburgh arson investigators said the cause of an early morning three-alarm house fire on the North Side is accidental.

They believe it started from a space heater, smoking, or a combination of the two.

According to officials at the scene, the fire started at 3:45 a.m. in the three-story duplex on Peralta Street. There are four apartments and a total of seven tenants, including a 7-year-old child that had to escape the burning building with his mother.

The initial call that came over through 911 was that there may have been a domestic dispute just before the fire started.

Samantha Kefover, who was visiting a friend and tenant of the building, said there was an argument with another tenant minutes before the fire.

“There was an argument with the next door neighbors, between my best friend and them. She kicked them out and they were banging on the doors. Fifteen minutes later, she came out and there was smoke coming out of the closet,” Kefover said.

The fire started in the apartment that belongs to the man who had just been in an argument with the neighbors, according to multiple people at the scene.

Fire investigators confirmed it did start on the first floor. One of the two tenants who live in that apartment was taken to the hospital for minor smoke inhalation.

The other half of the duplex was not completely damaged by fire, but smoke did reach that side and the utilities had been turned off.

One firefighter was taken to the hospital with a minor leg injury.

Red Cross said they were assisting five adults and one child.


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