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Carnegie House Destroyed By Intense Fire

(Photo Credit: Karen Seibel)

(Photo Credit: Karen Seibel)

RickDayton Rick Dayton
Rick Dayton joined KDKA in September 2009 as a morning news anchor. ...
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CARNEGIE (KDKA) – It was a dramatic scene in Carnegie Thursday morning because of a raging house fire and even reports of an explosion.

The home was already engulfed in flames when firefighters showed up.

Firefighters say it was a tough one to fight, but they were also worried about the fire spreading to other homes.

“I was talking to my daughter on the phone and I thought someone hit the building, a truck or a car or something. The whole building shook and I ran out the door and I looked and the house across the street had blown up in fire, engulfed in flames,” Karen Seibel said.

It was the next door neighbor on Howard Street who called for help.

“I’m on the phone with 911 and the guy who works across the place at the heating and cooling place is knocking on my front window saying get out of there, get out of there,” Gary LaFollette said.

Four different crews responded, including the Carnegie Volunteer Fire Department who had their hands full when they arrived minutes later.

“We didn’t get inside. We just did around to protect the exposures, and actually fought the fire from out here. It was already starting to collapse,” Chief John Kandracks said.

It’s too soon to know what caused it, but more than one person said they heard a very loud explosion.

“I was just getting ready for work and my lights flickered a little bit and then it was just a boom — like a bomb — boom. I just put on clothes, ran out and the house was just completely surrounded with fire,” Cindy White-Sutton said.

Two people who lived in the home got out safely, but Drew Welch did suffer minor burns to his head and hand.

“Partner woke me up and it was on fire. I tried to get it out — then out the door,” Welch said.

One person told KDKA there had not been any electricity or gas in the home for more than a year, but the fire marshal said they have not been able to pinpoint the cause of the fire.

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