By Ralph Iannotti

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WILMERDING (KDKA) — The Red Cross said late Monday night that it was helping 15 adults and 5 children after a rowhouse fire Monday afternoon in Wilmerding — providing food, clothing and temporary emergency housing.

A total of 8 homes were affected by the fire, mostly damaged by smoke and water.

The fire erupted in the rear of a rowhouse at 528 Middle Avenue.

As many as 50 firefighters responded to the alarm.

“There was a lot of water damage, a lot of smoke damage to surrounding apartments [the homes are attached],” Captain Tyler Beresford of the Wilmerding Fire Department said, “but we did a very good job extinguishing the fire [and to keep it from spreading].”

wilmerding house fire damage Red Cross Assisting 15 Adults, 5 Children After Wilmerding Rowhouse Fire

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

“I was asleep, and my grandson screamed, ‘Grandma, grandma, wake up there’s a fire,’” tenant Cassandra Hoye said, “so we hurried up, grabbed our things and ran out the front door.”

Jacqueline Wright rushed next door and made sure her sister and her two pet ferrets – Precious and Molly – were all OK.

“My sister called me on the phone and told me the house was on fire, so I flew over here to see what was going on,” Wright said, “and next thing you know, the guy said we couldn’t go in because the gray house in the middle had caught fire.”

There were no injuries reported in the fire, which drew a response from about 10 volunteer fire companies.

Cause of the fire is undetermined.

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