MOUNT OLIVER (KDKA) – Investigators are trying to determine the cause of one of the largest fires in the Pittsburgh area in recent memory.

A total of nine houses were damaged or destroyed in Mount Oliver that left 48 people displaced.

About 100 firefighters from several different departments were called in to battle the flames as well.

It was so intense that the fire jumped across the street and damaged homes on the other side.

On Monday, hot spots continued to flare up as investigators are trying to determine how it started and how it spread so quickly.

Almost 24 hours after the fire started, smoke was still rising from the rubble of what was, just hours earlier, a row of homes on Ormsby Avenue.

“I come home to see nothing. I lost everything, my house, my car,” John Gloeckl said.

For the victims in this fire, hard days and tough questions are ahead. For the Allegheny County fire marshals, they’re up against a daunting investigation.

“For us, equates to a lot of interviews and a scene that we must sift through painstakingly slow. It’s very methodical, the scientific method utilized to determine origin and cause,” Allegheny County Emergency Services Chief Alvin Henderson

Chief Henderson said nine houses, some containing apartments, were damaged or destroyed in the fire, including five which were torn down Sunday night.

Fire marshals have started the process of trying to pinpoint a cause but at this point, nothing has been ruled out.

“In our world, every fire is suspicious,” Chief Henderson said. “So, that’s why we’re very methodic in the way that we investigate the fire. We try not to go down one route too soon. We want to look at all the possibilities.”


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