By Ross Guidotti

MCKEESPORT (KDKA) – Two firefighters were injured while battling an early Wednesday morning blaze in McKeesport.

According to officials at the scene, two vacant homes went up in flames around 1 a.m. in the 2000-block of Colfax Street.

Firefighters not only had to contend with the flames, but also had to worry about the potential for the two buildings to fall in on them.

However, this may not have been the first time there was a fire at this location.

“When we arrived there were two structures that were very well involved – both of them had been vacant for quite some time. We have reason to believe there might have been a fire here previously,” McKeesport Fire Chief Chuck Margliotti said.

Two firefighters injured their backs while fighting the fire.

“We have one firefighter with an injured back and possibly a second one with a back injury. That occurred when we had some sparking wires directly above their heads and they were trying to jump out of the way. One has been treated at UPMC McKeesport. He has been released and he will be following up with his own physician,” McKeesport Deputy Fire Chief Chuck Margliotti said.

Neighbors are growing concerned about the number of vacant house fires in the area lately.

“There’s just so many abandoned houses around here. Theyre everywhere. I got four next door to me that are abandoned. There’s like 20 houses abandoned around here,” a man only identifying himself as Coop said.

Coop is a long time resident of McKeesport. He said last night’s fire and so many others have him worried because innocent residents and firefighters could be at risk.

“You got the little drug addicts that go in there. They do their thing and they leave the fire, or the match, before you know it, the block is on fire,” he said.

The fires are considered suspicious, but there is no word on any suspects or the exact cause.


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