PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A fire sent emergency crews to Pittsburgh’s North Side late Thursday night.

The blaze started in a row house apartment building around 11 p.m. in the 400-block of East Ohio Street between Cedar Avenue and Moravian Way.

Flames and smoke could reportedly been seen coming from third floor of the building. And firefighters were concerned that the fire would spread to the other buildings in the row of historic houses.

“We’re lucky the whole block didn’t go down,” building owner Nick Alexiades said.

The only person in the building was a second-floor resident. The person was evacuated, in addition to people in several nearby homes.

Firefighters also had a difficult time accessing the fire.

“They tried to gain access through the third floor,” Fire Chief Larry Yakich said. “And what happened over the years, they covered up the third-floor stairwell, which made it difficult.”

The resident, Vince Burke, said moments before the fire, he heard voices in the empty upstairs apartment, believe squatters had entered through a window in the back.

“I heard a couple voices up on the third floor,” said Burke. “It sounded like a female and a male. So I threw on some clothes to go down and investigate. By the time I got down the stairs, people were here beatin’ on the door telling me my house was on fire.”

The building owner said he thinks the people broke in to try and get warm.

Mayoral candidate Michael Lamb had also just rented out the first floor of the building this week and a spokesperson says if they can’t open a campaign office there, they will find a new spot.

Stay with KDKA for the latest details.

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Heather Abraham