PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Arson investigators were on Vinceton Street in Observatory Hill for a good portion of the morning Saturday, moving around rubble and looking for the cause of the fire that destroyed a home.
They were focusing on the back left corner of the house as the origin, but it could take some time before a cause is determined.
The home next door managed to survive with the exception of smoke, heat and water damage. Duckstein Damage Restoration boarded up the house. The three folks that live there were home at the time of the fire with their four dogs.
“My daughter noticed smoke in the hallway and she’s pushing me out the door and I got my dog and she got the rest of them with my husband,” next door neighbor Shelva Battung said.
“My bedroom is in the right back corner and it was my room that got the burst of flames from the neighbor’s house,” next door neighbor Cristal Battung said.
It didn’t take long for flames to engulf the home that neighbors say was vacant, before collapsing. Four firefighters were injured.
“Poor firemen didn’t even get out. I didn’t want them to get hurt. Two of them got hurt,” Shelva Battung said.
One of the firefighters hurt his back and another had a leg injury.
“They were just making entry or just stepping back out of the structure onto the front porch when it came down,” Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire Assistant Chief Tom Cook said.
As for the family that lives next door, the Red Cross put them up in a hotel for three nights. Neighbors say if it wasn’t for these men and women, who knows what could have happened here.
“I’m thankful to the firefighters that risk their lives to do stuff like this,” neighbor Anyih Horne said.
Public safety officials say all four firefighters have since been released from the hospital. They say their injuries are very minor.