HEIDELBERG (KDKA) – An apartment building in Heidelberg was severely damaged by an early Thursday morning fire.

According to officials at the scene, the fire broke out in the 400-block of 1st Street around midnight.

Firefighters did not have to travel far because it was just down the street from the fire house. However, the flames intensified quickly.

“When we pulled on scene, there was fire coming out of the front of the structure. We tried to make a pretty aggressive attack on it and at that point, we sent a crew inside. An extension go into the attic area and it kind of ran the attic,” Heidelberg Fire Chief Joseph Wissel said.

Wires around the structure prevented crews from getting their aerial unit quite where they wanted as well.

Five people were inside along with two dogs when the fire started. All were able to escape escape safely, but this blaze wasn’t just another house fire.

In a very real sense, this was personal for firefighters.

“One of the worst things about this fire is its actually a member of our department he’s been a member for 8 years it was rough because our guys knew it was his family and his house,” Chief Wissel said.

The bottom floor also housed a piano and organ refurnishing shop loaded with wood and flammable

The cause of the fire has not been determined at this time.

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