MCKEES ROCKS (KDKA) — Fire forced several people out of a three-story apartment building early Tuesday morning.
Crews got a call for smoke coming from the building in the 400 block of Alexander Street in McKees Rocks just before 4 a.m.
When they arrived, firefighters reported heavy smoke coming from the building.
The fire quickly escalated to three alarms.
“The fire burned up from the first floor to the second floor via the back wood decks and into the roof and it spread across the roof. Once the roof starts to fall in, it’s too dangerous to do inside operations,” McKees Rocks Fire Chief Nick Radoycis said.
The fire is believed to have started when a tenant on the first floor fell asleep while cooking French fries.
“I’m advised by the fire marshal that the tenant realized there was a fire, but at that point in time the fire had already spread outside the building from his kitchen all the way up from the wood decking from the second floor and into the roof,” Chief Radoycis said.
Heavy smoke and fire was still coming from the building more than an hour and a half after crews got on the scene.
Crews shutdown Island Avenue between the McKees Rocks Bridge and Chartiers Avenue while they battled the flames.
No injuries have been reported and the Red Cross is on the scene helping the nine adults and seven children who were forced out.
“Just neighbors being neighbors, everybody communicated. We all got out, but if it wasn’t for them, I’d probably still be in there honestly,” Aaron Gross said.
The building is believed to be a total loss.