By Bob Allen

MONESSEN (KDKA) – Two families were forced from their homes early Sunday morning due to a rapidly spreading fire.

According to Monessen Fire Chief Delmar Hepple, the fire started around 2:49 a.m. at a home in the 400-block of Second Street.

The two story home where the fire started was fully engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived. The fire then spread to a home next door.

Neighbors say it was like a scene from a movie. Responders say the home was engulfed so quickly, they had no chance of saving it.

“We got a pretty aggressive bunch in the fire department here and what you see behind you today, or the pictures you’ve seen, you don’t see too often here,” said Monessen Fire Chief Delmar Hepple.

Fortunately the residents — a mother and her children — were not home at the time of the fire.

“The kids happened to be at an all-night skating event,” said Hepple. “God really had his hands on them because if they would have been upstairs sleeping in the bed, it would have been a different outcome.”

However, neighbors Larry and Tammy Jones were home asleep when the fire started to spread to their house. Police and firefighters helped get them out.

By daylight, the house burned to the ground leaving only the chimneys standing. The Jones’ house next door was so badly damaged that it will likely be demolished.

No one was injured in the fire, but two dogs are also unaccounted for. The Red Cross is currently assisting the two families.

The cause of the fire is currently under investigation.


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