ROSS TOWNSHIP (KDKA) – A fire completely destroyed  an old farmhouse in Ross Township, Friday morning.

It happened at 141 Milbert Lane, which is a steep and deeply rutted road.

The nearest water source is 5,000 feet away on Rochester Road. For the first hour, firefighters had to drag their ladders up a hill to get to the blaze.

Ross Township fire marshal, John Reubi says it was quite a challenge.

“So we had to use an extended amount of hose to get up here, Reubi says. “Even by the time we got here the house was fully involved.”

The unoccupied home is owned by Marian Cherbeck.

Her grandchildren were living there until a week and a half ago. The home was fully furnished.

“The owner’s son was hoping to come back and fix the house back up and eventually stay here,” Reubi says.

The call came from the only neighbor just before 11:00 a.m. Friday morning.

“He was upstairs smelled some smoke – looks out – sees part of the structure burning- calls 911,” Reubi explains.

Even surrounding trees caught fire from the radiant heat.

The electricity had been turned off and gas is supplied from a private well on the property.

“The resident next door went down and said he secured the gas after he noticed the fire,” Reubi says.

It took 10-12 fire companies and more than 50-firefighters to get the fire under control.

The cause remains undetermined.

Fire Marshall’s from Ross Township and Allegheny County are investigating.

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